Organs of naturally infected mink were examined for the presence of Aleutian disease virus (ADV) DNA by hybridization. Spleen, lymph nodes, thymus, bone marrow, kidney, liver, lung and small intestine were found to be positive for ADV to differing extents. Infected lymphoid organs showed a focal distribution of pospositive cells. Southern blot analysis of DNA extracted from infected organs revealed replicative forms of viral DNA in spleen and bone marrow samples only. These findings are consistent with a lymphotropism of ADV . Compared to the situation after experimental infection of mink these results indicate additional sites of virus replication and/or persistence of the naturally occurring disease.

Keyword(s): ADV , lymphotropism and natural infection

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