Virological and pathological findings in Bluetongue virus serotype 8 infected sheep

Worwa, G.; Hilbe, M.; Chaignat, V.; Hofmann, M.A.; Griot, C.; Ehrensperger, F.; Doherr, M.G.; Thur, B. (2010). Virological and pathological findings in Bluetongue virus serotype 8 infected sheep. Veterinary microbiology, 144(3-4), pp. 264-73. Amsterdam: Elsevier 10.1016/j.vetmic.2010.01.011

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Twenty-seven sheep of the four most common Swiss breeds and the English breed Poll Dorset were experimentally infected with a northern European field strain of bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV-8). Animals of all breeds developed clinical signs, viremia and pathological lesions, demonstrating that BTV-8 is fully capable of replicating and inducing bluetongue disease (BT) in the investigated sheep. Necropsy performed between 10 and 16 days post-infectionem (d.p.i.) revealed BT-typical hemorrhages, effusions, edema, erosions and activation of lymphatic tissues. Hemorrhages on the base of the Arteria pulmonalis and the left Musculus papillaris subauricularis were frequently present. Histology confirmed the macroscopical findings. Using a score system, clinical manifestation and pathology were found to be significantly related. Furthermore, clinical signs and fever were shown to be indicative for the concurrent presence of high amounts of viral ribonucleic acid (RNA) in blood. Spleen, lung, lymph nodes and tonsils from all animals were analyzed regarding viral RNA loads and infectivity using real-time reverse transcriptase PCR (rRT-PCR) and virus isolation in cell culture, respectively. The highest amount of viral RNA was detected in spleen and lung and rRT-PCR revealed to be a more sensitive method for virus detection compared to virus isolation. A long-term follow-up was performed with three sheep showing that BTV-8 viral RNA in blood was present up to 133 d.p.i. and in certain tissues even on 151 d.p.i. No significant breed-related differences were observed concerning clinicopathological picture and viremia, and the Swiss sheep were as susceptible to BTV-8 infection as Poll Dorset sheep, demonstrating a remarkably high virulence of BTV-8 for indigenous sheep breeds.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute

UniBE Contributor:

Doherr, Marcus








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:36

Last Modified:

21 Jan 2014 15:05

Publisher DOI:


Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 221363)

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