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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Animal Disease Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #350817

Research Project: Diagnostic and Control Strategies for Malignant Catarrhal Fever

Location: Animal Disease Research

Title: Systemic necrotizing vasculitis in sheep is associated with ovine herpesvirus 2

Author
item Pesavento, P - University Of California, Davis
item Dange, R.b. - University Of California, Davis
item Estrada, M.c.f. - University Of Leon
item Dasjerdi, A - Animal & Plant Health Agency Apha
item Pérez, V. - University Of Leon
item Laroca, A. - Animal & Plant Health Agency Apha
item Silván, J.b. - University Of Leon
item Diab, S. - University Of California, Davis
item Jackson, K. - University Of California, Davis
item Phillips, I.l. - Oregon State University
item Li, Hong
item Cunha, Cristina
item Wessels, M - Finn Pathologists

Submitted to: Veterinary Pathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/12/2018
Publication Date: 9/10/2018
Citation: Pesavento, P., Dange, R., Estrada, M., Dasjerdi, A., Pérez, V., Laroca, A., Silván, J., Diab, S., Jackson, K., Phillips, I., Li, H., Cunha, C.W., Wessels, M. 2018. Systemic necrotizing vasculitis in sheep is associated with ovine herpesvirus 2. Veterinary Pathology. https://doi.org/10.1177/0300985818795166.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0300985818795166

Interpretive Summary: Ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2) is the causative agent for sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever (MCF). Sheep are the carriers for the virus and it is generally assumed that OvHV-2 does not cause disease in sheep. Systemic vasculitis (inflammation of blood vessels, a vascular disease) is the main pathological feature in MCF affected animals and it has been also sporadically reported in sheep by unknown causes. Because the majority of sheep are subclinically infected with OvHV-2, detection of viral DNA or antibodies can confirm infection, but cannot uncover disease association. Using a recently developed in situ hybridization (ISH), we examined nine clinically affected sheep cases associated with systemic vasculitis (8 out 9 cases were from previously published studies) to determine the role of OvHV-2 association with systemic vasculitis in sheep. With the ISH method, we were able to correlate the distribution of OvHV-2 viral nucleic acid with systemic vasculitis. Given the results that all sheep were positive by the ISH, we conclude that OvHV-2 is the likely agent responsible for a sporadic, MCF-like vascular disease in sheep.

Technical Abstract: Ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2) is one of a cluster of gammaherpesviruses that cause malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) in ungulates. Sheep are the adapted host species for OvHV-2, and it is generally assumed that OvHV-2 does not cause disease in sheep. Because the majority of sheep are subclinically infected with OvHV-2, detection of viral DNA or antibodies can confirm infection, but cannot uncover disease association. Using in situ hybridization (ISH), we were able to correlate the distribution of OvHV-2 viral nucleic acid with fatal systemic vasculitis. We have examined eight naturally occurring cases and one experimentally induced case of OvHV-2 associated arteritis in sheep. Our PCR and ISH results identify OvHV-2 as the likely agent responsible for a sporadic, MCF-like vascular disease in sheep.