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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Animal Disease Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #352545

Research Project: Diagnostic and Control Strategies for Malignant Catarrhal Fever

Location: Animal Disease Research

Title: Seroprevalence of malignant catarrhal fever virus in captive wildebeest (Connochaetes sp.) in France

Author
item Ortiz, K - Haute-Touche Zoological Park
item Javaux, J - University Of Liege
item Simon, M - Thoiry Zoo Safari
item Petit, T - Lapalmyre Zoo
item Clavel, S - Zoo African Safari
item Lamglait, B - Réserve Africaine De Sigean
item Blanc, B - Haute-Touche Zoological Park
item Brunet, A - Haute-Touche Zoological Park
item Myster, F - University Of Liege
item Li, Hong
item Dewals, B - University Of Liege

Submitted to: Transboundary and Emerging Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/31/2018
Publication Date: 7/2/2018
Citation: Ortiz, K., Javaux, J., Simon, M., Petit, T., Clavel, S., Lamglait, B., Blanc, B., Brunet, A., Myster, F., Li, H., Dewals, B. 2018. Seroprevalence of malignant catarrhal fever virus in captive wildebeest (Connochaetes sp.) in France. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1111/tbed.12929.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/tbed.12929

Interpretive Summary: Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1) is a herpesvirus carried by wildebeest mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Although it does not cause disease in wildebeest, AlHV-1 infection in a number of other ruminant species causes a severe and fatal disease named wildebeest-derived malignant catarrhal fever (WD-MCF). Several endangered species of captive ruminants are highly susceptible to developing WD-MCF if infected by the virus, which is a critical concern in zoos, game reserves and wildlife parks where wildebeest are also kept in captivity. In this study, we investigated the infection status of AlHV-1 in 50 captive wildebeests randomly sampled from 5 different zoos in France. We found 42% antibody-positive animals and detected AlHV-1 DNA in one of them, demonstrating that AlHV-1 infection is present in captive wildebeest. Interestingly, the repartition of antibody-positive wildebeest was not homogenous between zoos with 100% of antibody-negative animals in three parks. These results further highlight the importance of considering MCF as a threat for clinically susceptible species and encourage for testing AlHV-1 infection in captive wildebeest as a management control strategy.

Technical Abstract: Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1) is a gammaherpesvirus carried asymptomatically by wildebeest in sub-Saharan Africa. Although asymptomatic in wildebeest, AlHV-1 infection in a number of other ruminant species causes a severe and fatal lymphoproliferative disease named wildebeest-derived malignant catarrhal fever (WD-MCF). Several endangered species of captive ruminants are highly susceptible to developing WD-MCF if infected by AlHV-1, which is a critical concern in zoos, game reserves and wildlife parks where wildebeest are also kept in captivity. Here we investigated the seroprevalence of AlHV-1 in 50 captive wildebeests randomly sampled from 5 different zoos in France. We found 42% seropositive animals and detected AlHV-1 DNA in one of them, demonstrating that AlHV-1 infection is present in captive wildebeest. Interestingly, the repartition of seropositive wildebeest was not homogenous between zoos with 100% of seronegative animals in three parks. These results further highlight the importance of considering MCF as a threat for clinically susceptible species and encourage for testing AlHV-1 infection in captive wildebeest as a management control strategy.