Experiences of Borna disease virus infection in Sweden.
In the early 1970s a fatal neurological disorder in cats was reported in the areas around Lake Mälaren in central Sweden. The major signs were hind-leg ataxia, as well as absence or marked decrease in postural reactions and in some cases behavioural changes. The pathology of the disorder was characterized as a non-suppurative meningoencephalomyelitis, but the etiology was not determined. Almost twenty years later, the disorder now known as staggering disease (SD), was further characterized both clinically and pathologically. The same histopathological picture was seen as in the previous study, with inflammatory nodules, neuronal degeneration and perivascular cuffs mainly consisting of lymphocytes. The most severe inflammatory changes were seen in the grey matter of the brain stem, basal ganglia and hippocampus. Clinically the same major neurological signs were seen. Although the cats were examined for several known infectious agents causing central nervous system (CNS) disturbances, no etiological cause of SD was determined.
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