Ten new-born lambs were necropsied at various intervals after artificial infection with Rift Valley fever
virus for the study of the sequential development of the hepatic lesions.
During the late stage of the disease, the livers were slightly to moderately swollen and mottled yellow,
orange-brown and red. Greyish-white foci, approximately 0,25-0,5mm in diameter, were also scattered
throughout the parenchyma.
Microscopically, the liver lesions progressed from sparsely distributed acidophilic bodies and hepatocytes,
revealing acidophilic degeneration and necrosis 6-12h post-inoculation, to small randomly scattered primary
foci of necrosis 12-24h after infection. At 30-36h, these primary foci were larger and more circumscribed. In
addition, numerous acidophilic bodies and necrotic hepatocytes were dispersed throughout the markedly degenerated
parenchyma. The terminal stage of the disease (48-53h after inoculation), was characterized by massive
hepatic necrosis in which primary foci of necrosis could still be recognized as dense aggregates of cytoplasmic and nuclear debris.
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