Submitted to: Veterinary Record
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: This book chapter reviews the current available methodologies for diagnosing retrovirus infections in small ruminants (goats and sheep). The chapter stresses the importance of understanding the limitations and strengths of current testing methods. The primary intent of the chapter is to place current diagnostic methodologies in the context of the disease process for each virus.
Technical Abstract: The most practical ad reliable approach to confirming a diagnosis of OPPV or CAEV infection is a combination of serology and clinical evaluation. Although serology represents the most cost effective method of diagnosing persistently infected, clinically normal animals, testing errors occur; the frequency of error depends on the performance data of the particular serologic assay being uses. When PCR detection of OPPV and CAEV becomes routinely available, this detection method can be used rigorous eradication programs to determine the infection status of animals that cannot be definitively diagnosed by serology. The important aspects of OPPV and CAEV infection that must be considered in designing programs to prevent transmission are (1) OPPV and CAEV persist for life in the infected host, (2) a major route of transmission is to lambs and kids via colostrum and milk during nursing, (3) contact transmission among adults can occur, and (4) time variability can exist among individual sheep and goats from infection to the appearance of detectable antibodies.