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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONTROL OF GAMMAHERPESVIRUS-ASSOCIATED MALIGNANT CATARRHAL FEVER IN RUMINANTS Title: Ibex-associated malignant catarrhal fever-like disease in a group of bongo antelope (Tragelaphus euryceros)

Authors
item Gasper, D -
item Barr, B -
item Li, Hong
item Taus, Naomi
item Peterson, R -
item Benjamin, G -
item Hunt, T -
item Pesavento, P -

Submitted to: Veterinary Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 12, 2011
Publication Date: May 29, 2012
Citation: Gasper, D., Barr, B., Li, H., Taus, N.S., Peterson, R., Benjamin, G., Hunt, T., Pesavento, P. 2012. Ibex-associated malignant catarrhal fever-like disease in a group of bongo antelope (Tragelaphus euryceros). Veterinary Pathology. 3:492-7.

Interpretive Summary: Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a frequently fatal disease primarily affecting certain ruminant species, such as cattle, deer and bison, caused by a group of herpesviruses. At least ten viruses in this group have been identified up to date, six of which are clearly associated with clinical disease. In this report, we documented an outbreak of MCF in a group of bongo antelope in a private zoological facility in California. Three periparturient female bongos exhibited an acute loss of appetite beginning ~6 weeks after being housed with a Nubian ibex. Disease quickly progressed to respiratory distress and death in all cases within 24-72 hours of onset. Additional bongos co-pastured with the resident ibex herd were not affected. Consistent gross lesion findings in the affected bongos were suggestive of MCF. The main histologic lesions were similar to MCF previously described in cattle and other susceptible animals, but some lesions were unusual and possibly unique to MCF in bongos. Ibex-associated MCF viral DNA was detected by PCR, and was identical in sequence whether derived from the bongos, the in-contact ibex, or other resident ibex. The sequence closely matched an ibex-associated MCF viral DNA fragment that had been amplified from an ibex and bongo in a previous case report. This report further supports the ibex as the endemic source host, indicates the virus can cause outbreaks of mortality in bongos, and provides detailed epidemiologic, molecular and histopathological information about ibex-associated MCF in bongo, which will be important for all zoo and wildlife programs to better manage their mixed-species.

Technical Abstract: A private zoological facility experienced an outbreak of fatal malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) in a group of bongo antelope (Tragelaphus euryceros). Three periparturient female bongos exhibited an acute onset of anorexia beginning ~6 weeks after being housed with a Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana). Disease quickly progressed to respiratory distress and death in all cases within 24-72 hours of onset. Additional bongos co-pastured with the resident ibex herd were not affected. Consistent gross findings in the affected bongos were pulmonary edema and multifocal hepatic necrosis. Histologic lesions that were similar to MCF previously described in cattle and other susceptible animals included vasculitis affecting multiple organs. Histologic lesions that were unusual and possibly unique to MCF in bongos were necrotizing cholangitis and neutrophilic, necrotizing myocarditis. Ibex-associated MCF viral DNA was detected by PCR, and was identical in sequence whether derived from the bongos, the in-contact ibex, or other resident ibex. The sequence closely matched an ibex-associated MCF viral DNA fragment that had been amplified from an ibex and bongo in a previous case report.

Last Modified: 12/29/2014
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