Submitted to: Journal of Wildlife Diseases
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/23/2003
Publication Date: 10/1/2003
Citation: Li, H., Gailbreath, K., Bender, L.C., West, K., Keller, J., Crawford, T.B. 2003. Evidence of Three New Members of Malignant Catarrhal Fever Virus Group in Muskox (Ovibos moschatus), Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana), and Gemsbok (Oryx gazella). Journal of Wildlife Diseases. 39(4):875-880. Interpretive Summary: Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a disease syndrome affecting principally ruminant species, caused by a group of ruminant gammaherpesviruses. At least six viruses in this group have been identified previously, four of which are clearly associated with clinical disease. In this study, we identified 3 new members in the MCF virus group in muskox, Nubian ibex and gemsbok (South African oryx). Based on the sequence information, the virus in muskox is most closely related to the virus recently identified causing classic MCF in white-tailed deer and the virus in Nubian ibex is closest to the MCF virus in domestic goats. The virus in the gemsbok is highly related to the African MCF virus carried by wildebeest. Little evidence of disease association with these viruses is yet available.
Technical Abstract: Six members of the malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) virus group of ruminant rhadinoviruses have been identified to date. Four of these viruses are clearly associated with clinical disease, including alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1) carried by wildebeest (Connochaetes spp.), ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2) ubiquitous in sheep (Ovis aries), caprine herpesvirus 2 (CpHV-2) endemic in domestic goats (Capra hircus), and the virus causing classic MCF in white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus)(MCFV-WTD) with an unknown reservoir host origin. Using a serological test and PCR with degenerate primers targeting a portion of the herpesviral DNA polymerase gene, we identified 3 new rhadinoviruses in the MCF virus group in muskox (Ovibos moschatus), Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana) and gemsbok (Oryx gazella), respectively. Based on the sequence alignments, the virus in muskox is most closely related to MCFV-WTD (81.5% sequence identity) and the virus in Nubian ibex is closest to CpHV-2 (89.3% identity). The virus in the gemsbok is most closely related to AlHV-1 (85.1% identity). Serological findings indicated that virtually all members of these 3 species were infected with their newly identified respective indigenous rhadinovirus. Little evidence of disease association with these viruses is yet available.