Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Related Topics

MCF
headline bar

Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF), a disease syndrome primarily of ruminant species, is caused by a member of an expanding group of Rhadinoviruses in the Gammaherpesvirinae subfamily.  These viruses exist in nature as inapparent infections in well-adapted ruminants that act as reservoir hosts.  MCF is increasingly being recognized as the cause of significant economic losses in several major ruminant species, including cattle, bison and deer, as well as a threat to certain threatened species held in mixed-species confinement. Most cases in the U.S. are caused by the virus known as ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2), which exists as a ubiquitous subclinical infection in domestic sheep. Historically, control of MCF has been hampered by a lack of knowledge of its etiology, epidemiology, and pathogenesis.  That is changing.  This page is designed to help persons interested in MCF to stay abreast of the developments underlying that change.

MCF research is conducted through a joint effort by the Animal Disease Research Unit, USDA-ARS and the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University.  Other actively collaborating institutions include the University of Wyoming, the US Sheep Experiment Station of ARS, and several other institutes in North America and Europe.

The overall purpose of the project is to generate information needed to understand and control MCF.  The objectives are to develop improved diagnostic methods for the MCF virus group, to define the disease’s etiology, epidemiology and pathogenesis, to propagate OvHV-2 in vitro, and to develop methods for MCF control.

Publications:

  1.  Li, H., D. T. Shen, D. Knowles, J. R. Gorham and T. B. Crawford. 1994. Competitive-inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for antibody in sheep and other ruminants to a conserved epitope of malignant catarrhal fever virus.  Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 32:1674-1679.

 

  1. Li, H. 1994. Sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever: etiologic and epidemiologic studies. Ph.D. Thesis, Washington State University.

 

  1. Li H., D. T. Shen, W. C. Davis, D. P. Knowles, J. R. Gorham and T. B. Crawford. 1995. Identification and characterization of the major proteins of malignant catarrhal fever virus. Journal of General Virology. 76: 123-129.

 

  1. O'Toole, D., H. Li, S. Roberts, J. Rovnak, J. DeMartini, J. Cavender, B. Williams, and T. B.Crawford. 1995.  Chronic generalized obliterative arteriopathy in cattle: a sequel to sheep‑associated malignant catarrhal fever. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 7:108-121.

 

  1. Li, H., D. T. Shen, D. O'Toole, D. P. Knowles, J. R. Gorham and T. B. Crawford. 1995.   Investigation of sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever virus infection in ruminants by PCR and competitive inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 33:2048-2053.

 

  1. Li, H., D. T. Shen, D. Jessup, D. P. Knowles, J. R. Gorham, T. Thorne, D. O'Toole and T. B. Crawford. 1996. Prevalence of antibody to malignant catarrhal fever virus in wild and domestic ruminants by competitive inhibition ELISA.  Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 32:437-443.

 

  1. Li, H., D. T. Shen, D. O'Toole, W. C. Davis, D. P. Knowles, J. R. Gorham and T. B. Crawford.  1996. Malignant catarrhal fever virus: characterization of a United States isolate and development of diagnostic assays.  Annals of the New York Academy of Science. 791:198-210.

 

  1. O'Toole, D., H. Li, B. Williams, D. Miller and T. B. Crawford.  1997. Chronic and recovered cases of sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever in cattle.  Veterinary Record 140:519-524.

 

  1. Li, H., G. Snowder, D. O'Toole, and T. B. Crawford. 1998. Transmission of Ovine herpesvirus 2 in lambs.  Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 36:223-226.

 

10.       Crawford, T. B., D. O’Toole, and H. Li.  1998. Malignant Catarrhal Fever. In Current Veterinary Therapy: Food Animal Practice, 4th edition. p. 306-309.

 

11.       Müller-Doblies, U. U., H. Li, B. Hauser, H. Adler, and M. Ackermann.  1998. Field validation of laboratory tests for the clinical diagnosis of sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever.  Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 36:2970-2972.

 

12.       Tong, G. Z., H. Li, A. Ensser, D. T. Shen. 1998. Variation of malignant catarrhal fever virus genome in different ruminant species by nested PCR.  Chinese Journal of Virology. 14:144-150.

 

13.       Frolich, K., H. Li and U. U. Muller-Doblies. 1998.  Serosurvey for antibodies to malignant catarrhal fever-associated viruses in free-living and captive cervids in Germany.  Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 34:777-782.

 

14.       Hua, Y., H. Li, and T. B. Crawford.  1999. Quantitation of sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever viral DNA by competitive polymerase chain reaction.  Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 11:117-121.

 

15.       Crawford, T. B., H. Li, and D. O'Toole.  1999. Diagnosis of sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever by PCR using formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues.  Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 11:111-116.

 

16.       Li, H., G. Snowder and T. B. Crawford. 1999. Production of malignant catarrhal fever virus-free sheep. Veterinary Microbiology. 65: 167-172.

 

17.       Li, H., W. C. Westover and T. B. Crawford. 1999. Sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever in a petting zoo.  Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine. 30: 408-412.

 

18.       Li, H., G. Snowder, D. O’Toole and T. B. Crawford. 2000. Transmission of ovine herpesvirus 2 among adult sheep. Veterinary Microbiology. 71:27-35.

 

19.       Li, H., N. Dyer, J. Keller and T. B. Crawford.  2000.  Newly recognized herpesvirus causing malignant catarrhal fever in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).  Journal of Clinical Microbiology.  38:1313-1318.

 

20.       Li, H., J. Keller, Donald P. Knowles, and T. B. Crawford.  2001. Recognition of another member of the malignant catarrhal fever virus group: an endemic gammaherpesvirus in domestic goats.  Journal of General Virology. 82:227-232.

 

21.       Li, H., Y. Hua, G. Snowder and T. B. Crawford.  2001. Levels of ovine herpesvirus 2 DNA in nasal secretions and blood of sheep: implications for transmission. Veterinary Microbiology. 79:301-310.

 

22.       Müller-Doblies, U. U., J. Egli, H. Li, U. Braun, and M. Ackermann.  2001. Malignant catarrhal fever in Switzerland, part 1: epidemiology.  Schweizer Archiv für Tierheilkunde. 143:173-183.

 

23.       Müller-Doblies, U. U., J. Egli, B. Hauser, H. Li, M. Strasser, F. Ehrensperger, U. Braun, and M. Ackermann.  2001. Malignant catarrhal fever in Switzerland, part 2: evaluation of diagnostics.  Schweizer Archiv für Tierheilkunde. 143:581-591.  

 

24.       Li, H., T.C. McGuire U.U. Muller-Doblies, and T. B. Crawford. 2001. A simpler, more sensitive competitive inhibition enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for detection of antibody to malignant catarrhal fever viruses.  Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation.  13:361-364.

 

25.       Li, H., G. Snowder and T. B. Crawford.  2002. Effect of passive transfer of maternal immune components on infection with ovine herpesvirus 2 in lambs. American Journal of Veterinary Research.  63:631-633.

 

26.       O'Toole, D., H. Li, C. Sourk, D. L. Montgomery, and T.B. Crawford.  2002.  Malignant catarrhal fever in a bison (Bison bison) feedlot 1994 – 2000. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 14:183-193.

 

27.       Zarnke, R. L., H. Li, and T.B. Crawford. 2002. Serum antibody prevalence of malignant catarrhal fever viruses in seven wildlife species from Alaska.  Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 38:500-504.

 

28.       Crawford, T. B., H. Li, S. R. Rosenberg, R. W. Norhausen and M. M. Garner. 2002.  Mural folliculitis and alopecia caused by infection with goat-associated malignant catarrhal fever virus in two sika deer. Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association. 211:843-847.

 

29.       Li, H., A. Wunschmann, J. Keller, D. G. Hall, and T. B. Crawford.  2003. Caprine herpesvirus-2 associated malignant catarrhal fever in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 15:44-47.

 

30.       Albini, S., W. Zimmermann, F. Neff, B. Ehlers, H. Hani, H. Li, D. Hussy, M. Engels, and M. 2003. Ackermann. Identification and quantification of OvHV-2 DNA in current and historic tissues of pigs with symptoms of porcine malignant catarrhal fever.  Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 41:900-904.

 

31.       Albini, S., W. Zimmermann, F. Neff, B. Ehlers, H. Häni, H. Li, D. Hüssy, C. Casura, M. Engels, and M. Ackermann. 2003. Diagnostic findings in pigs with porcine malignant catarrhal fever. Schweizer Archiv für Tierheilkunde. 145:61-68.

 

32.       Li, H. K. Gailbreath, L.C. Bender, K. West, J. Keller, and T.B. Crawford. 2003. Evidence of three new members of malignant catarrhal fever virus group in muskox (Ovibos moschatus), Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana) and gemsbok (Oryx gazelle). Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 39:875-880.

 

33.       Bender, L.C., H. Li, and B. Thompson, R. Valdez and P. Morrow. 2003. Infectious disease survey of gemsbok in New Mexico.  Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 39:772-778.

 

34.       Simon, S., H. Li, D. O’toole, T. B. Crawford, and L. Oaks. 2003. The vascular lesions of a cow and bison with sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever contain OvHV-2-infected CD8+ T-lymphocytes. Journal of General Virology. 84:2009-2013.

 

35.       Kim, O, H. Li, and T. B. Crawford.  2003. Demonstration of sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever virions in sheep nasal secretions. Virus Research. 98:117-122.


Last Modified: 7/22/2004