Submitted to: Journal of Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 22, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Traditionally, goats have been considered to be a source of transmission for sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) virus. However, we recently failed to detect the sheep-associated MCF viral genetic materials in a high percentage of MCF antibody-positive goats. This prompted us to undertake this systematic examination of the nature and interrelatedness of the viruses that occur in goats. Using newly developed molecular approaches, we found that goats did carry a previously unrecognized member of the MCF group viruses that is related to, but distinct from other identified MCF viruses. Combined serological and PCR survey demonstrated that most goats under natural conditions were infected with the virus and the transmission pattern of the virus in goats was similar to the MCF virus in sheep.
Technical Abstract: A novel gammaherpesvirus in goats that is herein tentatively designated as caprine herpesvirus 2 was identified based on the sequence of a fragment from the herpesviral DNA polymerase gene. Sequence alignment analysis revealed that the viral sequence from goats was 67% identical to the analogous sequence from alcelaphine herpesvirus 1, 71% to ovine herpesvirus 2 and 73% to a recently- recognized herpesvirus causing malignant catarrhal fever in white- tailed deer. Combined serological and PCR survey data demonstrated that this virus is endemic in goats and its transmission pattern is similar to that of ovine herpesvirus 2 in sheep.