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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Malignant Catarrhal Fever in Switzerland Part 2: Evaluation of Diagnostics

Authors
item Muller-Doblies, U - UNIV OF ZURICH
item Egli, J - UNIV OF ZURICH
item Hauser, B - UNIV OF ZURICH
item Li, Hong
item Strasser, M - UNIV OF BERN
item Braun, U - UNIV OF ZURICH
item Ackermann, M - UNIV OF ZURICH

Submitted to: Swiss Archives of Veterinary Medicine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 6, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a mostly fatal herpesviral disease of cattle. In 1993 a PCR based method was introduced for the detection of the ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2), a causative virus for sheep-associated form of the disease. This assay is broadly used and can be regarded as a gold standard for the diagnosis of sheep- associated MCF in cattle. In this study, the PCR was used as reference test for the reassessment of diagnostic criteria in the clinical and post mortem diagnosis that could previously not be quantitated. Based on 83 suspected cases with a complete clinical record the clinical signs were weighted and grouped into lead signs indicative of MCF and frequently accompanying signs supportive for the diagnosis of MCF and general clinical signs that were less reliable for the diagnosis. 38 PCR confirmed cattle with MCF served for the quantitative analysis of organ lesions. For the post mortem diagnosis an essential set of organ samples is defined to permit a reliable histological diagnosis, as the gross pathology often did not give any indication for the diagnosis. These criteria should help to improve the diagnostic efficiency and to select the appropriate laboratory diagnostic procedures for MCF-suspected cattle.

Technical Abstract: Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a mostly fatal lymphoproliferative disease of cattle. In 1993 a PCR based method was introduced for the detection of the ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2), which is regarded as the causative agent of sheep-associated form of the disease. This PCR can be regarded as a gold standard for the in vivo diagnosis of sheep-associated MCF in cattle (Muller-Doblies et al, 1998). This semi-nested PCR was now used as reference test for the reassessment of diagnostic criteria in the clinical and post mortem diagnosis that could previously not be quantitated. Based on 83 suspected cases with a complete clinical record the clinical signs were weighted and grouped according to their sensitivity and specificity into lead signs indicative of MCF and frequently accompanying signs supportive for the diagnosis of MCF and general clinical signs that were less reliable for the diagnosis. Differential diagnoses were discussed, which are of particular significance due to their status as OIE list A disease e.g. foot-and-mouth disease or rinderpest. 38 PCR confirmed cattle with MCF served for the quantitative analysis of organ lesions. For the post mortem diagnosis an essential set of organ samples is defined to permit a reliable histological diagnosis, as the gross pathology often did not give any indication for the diagnosis. These criteria should help to improve the diagnostic efficiency and to select the appropriate laboratory diagnostic procedures for MCF-suspected cattle.

Last Modified: 9/21/2014
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