Submitted to: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/10/2011
Publication Date: 10/18/2011
Citation: Li, H., Cunha, C.W., Taus, N.S. 2011. Malignant catarrhal fever: understanding molecular diagnostics in context of epidemiology. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 10:6881-6893.
Interpretive Summary: Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a frequently fatal disease, primarily of ruminants, caused by a group of herpesviruses. MCF is increasingly being recognized as the cause of significant economic losses in several major ruminant species, as well as a threat to certain other susceptible species held in mixed-species confinement. Due to the complexities of pathogenesis and its epidemiology in various species which are either clinically-susceptible or reservoir hosts, clinicians and veterinarians face a significant challenges in diagnosing MCF viral infection and/or disease. Recently developed molecular diagnostic assays have improved the detection and differentiation of MCF causative viruses, and increased accuracy of laboratory diagnostics in confirming MCF viral infection and/or disease in various species. Understanding the appropriate application of newly developed MCF diagnostic tests for each epidemiological situation is necessary to take advantage of these molecular diagnostics. The situational application of MCF diagnostics in veterinary diagnostic laboratories is the focus of this review.
Technical Abstract: Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a frequently fatal disease, primarily of ruminants, caused by a group of gammaherpesviruses. Due to complexities of pathogenesis and epidemiology in various species which are either clinically-susceptible or reservoir hosts, veterinary clinicians face significant challenges in laboratory diagnostics. The recent development of specific assays for viral DNA and antibodies has expanded and improved the inventory of laboratory tests and opened new opportunities for use of MCF molecular diagnostics. Issues related to understanding and implementing appropriate assays for specific diagnostic needs must be addressed in order to take advantage of molecular diagnostics in the laboratory.