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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Identification and Quantification of Ovine Gammaherpesvirus 2 DNA in Fresh and Stored Tissues of Pigs with Symptoms of Porcine Malignant Catarrhal Fever

Authors
item Albini, S. - UNIV.OF ZURICH
item Zimmermann, W. - UNIV.OF BERNE
item Neff, F - UNIV.OF BERNE
item Ehlers, B. - ROBERT KOCH INSTITUTE
item Hani, H. - UNIV.OF BERNE
item Li, Hong
item Hussy, D. - UNIV.OF ZURICH
item Engels, M. - UNIV.OF ZURICH
item Ackermann, M. - UNIV.OF ZURICH

Submitted to: Journal of Clinical Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: November 25, 2002
Publication Date: November 25, 2002
Citation: Albini, S., Zimmermann, W., Neff, F., Ehlers, B. Hani, H., Li, H., Hüssy, D., Engels, M., Ackermann, M. Identification and quantification of ovine gammaherpesvirus 2 DNA in fresh and stored tissues of pigs with symptoms of porcine malignant catarrhal fever. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2003. v. 41. p. 900-904.

Interpretive Summary: Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is often a lethal viral disease primarily of certain ruminants. Although MCF in pigs has been reported previously, its causative virus has long been a matter of debate. In this study we formally identified the agent of porcine MCF, which is a sheep-associated MCF virus, naturally carried by domestic sheep. All samples were collected from a Swiss farm, where pigs shared stables and meadows with sheep, and where several gilts were observed to show symptoms similar to MCF. Analyses included description of clinical signs, histopathology, serology, and a variety of specific PCR techniques designed to discriminate between infections with either ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2), the sheep-associated MCF virus, or other porcine gammaherpesviruses. OvHV-2 viral DNA was quantitatively detected in tissues of pigs with symptoms of MCF, but not in any tissues of healthy pigs. Simultaneous infections of both, OvHV-2 and primary porcine gammaherpesviruses, were not observed in any healthy or diseased animals examined. Thus, for the first time, OvHV-2, the newly identified agent of porcine MCF, has now been formally discriminated from primary porcine gammaherpesviruses.

Technical Abstract: Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is known as a most often lethal viral infection of ruminants. In contrast, MCF of pigs and its etiology has long been a matter of debate. To formally identify the agent of porcine MCF, materials were collected from a Swiss farm, where pigs shared stables and meadows with sheep, and where several gilts were observed to show symptoms reminding of porcine MCF. These materials were complemented by historic samples, dating back to 1999 and 1986, as well as by a series of fresh samples collected from healthy pigs. Analyses included description of disease signs, histopathology, serology, and a variety of specific PCR techniques designed to discriminate between infections with either ovine gammaherpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2) or other gammaherpesviruses. We report on their identification and quantification of OvHV-2 DNA in current and historic tissues of pigs with symptoms of porcine MCF. In contrast, OvHV-2 DNA was not at all detected in tissues of healthy pigs. The quantitative analyses raised questions concerning the transmission of the agent to pigs. Simultaneous infections of both, OvHV-2 and primary porcine gammaherpesviruses, were not observed, neither in healthy nor in diseased animals. Thus, for the first time, OvHV-2, the newly identified agent of porcine MCF, has now been formally discriminated from primary porcine gammaherpesviruses.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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