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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Transmission of Caprine Herpesvirus 2 in Domestic Goats

Authors
item Li, Hong
item Keller, Janice
item Knowles, Donald
item Taus, Naomi
item Oaks, J - WSU
item Crawford, T - WSU

Submitted to: Veterinary Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 19, 2005
Publication Date: April 25, 2005
Citation: Li, H., Keller, J., Knowles Jr, D.P., Taus, N.S., Oaks, J.L., Crawford, T.B. 2005. Transmission of caprine herpesvirus 2 in domestic goats. Veterinary Microbiology. 107:23-29.

Interpretive Summary: Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a herpesviral disease primarily of ruminants, including cattle, bison and deer. Several closely related viruses are capable of inducing MCF. Caprine herpesvirus 2 (CpHV-2) is a recently recognized member that is carried by goats and causes MCF in certain species of deer. In this study, we examined the transmission of CpHV-2 in domestic goats. A total of 30 kids born to a CpHV-2 positive goat herd were selected and divided into 2 groups: group 1 with 16 kids remained in the positive herd; group 2 with 14 kids was separated from the herd at 1 week of age after obtaining colostrum. Blood samples from each kid were examined regularly for infection. Fifteen out of 16 goats (94%) that remained with the positive herd were infected with CpHV-2 by 10 months of age. In contrast, all kids (100%) that were separated from the positive herd at one week of age remained uninfected until termination of the experiment at one year of age. We also examined the transmission of CpHV-2 and sheep-associated MCF virus (also termed ovine herpesvirus 2, OvHV-2) in adult goats and the experiments revealed that all CpHV-2-free adult goats were susceptible to CpHV-2 or OvHV-2 infection. The data indicate that the transmission pattern of CpHV-2 in goats is similar to the pattern of OvHV-2 in sheep and that CpHV-2-free goats can be established by early separation of kids from positive herds, which has significant implications for MCF control programs.

Technical Abstract: Caprine herpesvirus 2 (CpHV-2) is a recently recognized gammaherpesvirus that persists in domestic goats and causes malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) in certain species of deer. In this study, transmission of CpHV-2 in goats was examined. A total of 30 kids born to a CpHV-2 positive goat herd were selected and divided into 2 groups: group 1 (n=16) remained in the positive herd; group 2 (n =14) was separated from the herd at 1 week of age after obtaining colostrum. Peripheral blood samples from each kid were examined regularly by competitive ELISA for MCF viral antibody and by PCR for CpHV-2 DNA. Fifteen out of 16 goats (94%) that remained with the positive herd seroconverted and became PCR-positive for CpHV-2 by 10 months of age. In contrast, all kids (100%) that were separated from the positive herd at one week of age remained negative until termination of the experiment at one year of age. Additional transmission experiments revealed that all CpHV-2-free adult goats were susceptible to CpHV-2 or OvHV-2 infection. The data indicate that the transmission pattern of CpHV-2 in goats is similar to the pattern of OvHV-2 in sheep and that CpHV-2-free goats can be established by early separation of kids from positive herds, which has significant implications for MCF control programs.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014