Immunofluorescent, light, and electron microscopy were used to document lyssavirus infection of muscle spindles and motor end plates. Virus particles were seen in the narrow intercellular space between sensory nerve endings and intrafusal muscle fibers; they were also observed budding from intracellular and plasma membranes of the latter. Involvement of motor nerves and motor end plates could only be demonstrated by electron microscopy. In nature, rabies virus invasion of the peripheral nervous system must involve centripetal spread across these junctions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas