Submitted to: Journal of General Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/9/2001
Publication Date: 11/1/2001
Citation: Dunowska, M.G., Letchworth III, G.J., Collins, J., Demartini, J.C. 2001. Ovine herpesvirus-2 glycoprotein b sequences from tissues of ruminant malignant catarrhal fever and healthy sheep are highly conserved. Journal of General Virology, 82:2785-90.
Interpretive Summary: Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a usually fatal disease of cattle and bison. Although rare in cattle, it may be the leading cause of death in farmed bison. This study was done to determine if the cause of MCF in cattle and bison was a virus that sheds from normal sheep. DNA sequence analysis of one large gene from the sheep virus and viruses from cattle and bison with MCF suggested that all viruses were the same. This strongly suggests that the sheep virus causes fatal disease in cattle and bison.
Technical Abstract: Ovine herpesvirus-2 (OHV-2) infection has been associated with malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) in susceptible ruminants. In order to further investigate whether OHV-2 is an aetiological agent for sheep-associated (SA) MCF in cattle and bison, the entire sequences of OHV-2 glycoprotein B (gB) from different sources of viral DNA were compared. Target DNA was derived from tissues of bovine and bison cases of SA-MCF, from a lymphoblastoid cell line established from another bovine case of SA-MCF, and from a healthy sheep. The divergence between deduced amino acid sequences of OHV-2 gB ranged from 0·5 to 1·2%. The high degree of similarity between gB sequences from a healthy sheep and clinical cases of SA-MCF in cattle and bison suggests that OHV-2 is an ovine virus that is occasionally transmitted to other ruminant species, in which it can cause severe disease.