Cowdry bodies

Last revised by Tania Mercado Avendaño on 2 Aug 2021

Cowdry bodies are eosinophilic or basophilic neuronal intranuclear inclusions composed of nucleic acid and protein, this cytopathic changes are considered a hallmark of viral infection.1.


Cowdry bodies are in fact fixation artifacts and not directly the result of the intracellular virus. 2 There are two types of intranuclear Cowdry bodies:

  • Type A: acidophilic material of droplet-like masses surrounded by clear halos within nuclei., seen in gingivostomatitis and conjunctivitis caused by Herpes simplex virus and also chicken pox caused by varicella zoster. 3

  • Type B  intranuclear eosinophilic without any nuclear change, seen in infection with poliovirus and CMV.


Cowdry bodies are named after the Canadian-American biologist Edmund Vincent Cowdry Ph.D., 1888-1975




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