Submitted to: Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/16/2002
Publication Date: 9/15/2003
Citation: Crawford, T.B., Li, H., Rosenberg, S.R., Norhausen, R.W., Garner, M.M. Mural folliculitis and alopecia caused by infection with goat-associated malignant catarrhal fever virus in two sika deer. Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association. 2002. v. 211. p. 843-847. Interpretive Summary: A case of two Sika deer with chronic skin lesions and hair loss was found in a southeastern U.S. zoo. Examination of the affected deer revealed generalized alopecia (hair loss) and inflamed skin with superficial erosions. The disease is more chronic than expected for malignant catarrhal fever (MCF). Skin lesions were unique, consisting mainly of inflammation centered on hair follicles with only rare vascular lesions resembling those of MCF. Using various PCRs and sequencing techniques, the causative agent responsible for the disease in these deer was confirmed as the goat-associated MCF virus (caprine herpesvirus 2), the virus endemic in domestic goats. This is the first report confirming the pathogenicity role of this newly recognized goat MCF virus and describing the unique lesions in Sika deer induced by the virus.
Technical Abstract: Domestic goats carry an MCF virus provisionally termed caprine herpesvirus-2 that is similar to but distinct from the sheep- associated MCF virus. The goat-associated MCF virus can cause disease in Sika deer that is more chronic than expected for MCF, and that presents predominantly as non-responsive dermatitis and alopecia. The salient histologic lesion in the skin is a unique mural folliculitis rather than vasculitis. The range of species susceptibility to the virus is as yet undefined, as disease has been observed at present only in cervids. Etiologic diagnosis requires detection of the viral DNA in affected animals by specifically-designed PCR primers, as conventional PCR tests for the ovine MCF virus do not detect the caprine virus.