Cowdry bodies

Last revised by Tania Mercado Avendaño on 02 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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