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Abstract zur Publikation: Identification and quantification of ovine gammaherpesvirus 2 DNA in fresh and stored tissues of pigs with symptoms of porcine malignant catarrhal fever

Albini S, Zimmermann W, Neff F, Ehlers B, Häni H, Li H, Hüssy D, Engels M, Ackermann M (2003): Identification and quantification of ovine gammaherpesvirus 2 DNA in fresh and stored tissues of pigs with symptoms of porcine malignant catarrhal fever
J. Clin. Microbiol. 41: 900-904.

Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is known as a most often lethal viral infection of ruminants. In contrast, MCF of pigs and its etiology has long been a matter of debate. To formally identify the agent of porcine MCF, materials were collected from a Swiss farm, where pigs shared stables and meadows with sheep, and where several gilts were observed to show symptoms reminding of porcine MCF. These materials were complemented by historic samples, dating back to 1999 and 1986, as well as by a series of fresh samples collected from healthy pigs. Analyses included description of disease signs, histopathology, serology, and a variety of specific PCR techniques designed to discriminate between infections with either ovine gammaherpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2) or other gammaherpesviruses. We report on the identification and quantification of OvHV-2 DNA in current and historic tissues of pigs with symptoms of porcine MCF. In contrast, OvHV-2 DNA was not at all detected in tissues of healthy pigs. The quantitative analyses raised questions concerning the transmission of the agent to pigs. Simultaneous infections of both, OvHV-2 and primary porcine gammaherpesviruses, were not observed, neither in healthy nor in diseased animals. Thus, for the first time, OvHV-2, the newly identified agent of porcine MCF, has now been formally discriminated from primary porcine gammaherpesviruses.

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