Characterization of small ruminant lentivirus A4 subtype isolates and assessment of their pathogenic potential in naturally infected goats.

Deubelbeiss, Martina; Blatti-Cardinaux, Laure Sarah Pauline; Zahno, Marie-Luise; Zanoni, Reto Giacomo; Vogt, Hans-Rudolf; Posthaus, Horst; Bertoni, Giuseppe (2014). Characterization of small ruminant lentivirus A4 subtype isolates and assessment of their pathogenic potential in naturally infected goats. Virology journal, 11(1), p. 65. BioMed Central 10.1186/1743-422X-11-65

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BACKGROUND Small ruminant lentiviruses escaping efficient serological detection are still circulating in Swiss goats in spite of a long eradication campaign that essentially eliminated clinical cases of caprine arthritis encephalitis in the country. This strongly suggests that the circulating viruses are avirulent for goats.To test this hypothesis, we isolated circulating viruses from naturally infected animals and tested the in vitro and in vivo characteristics of these field isolates. METHODS Viruses were isolated from primary macrophage cultures. The presence of lentiviruses in the culture supernatants was monitored by reverse transcriptase assay. Isolates were passaged in different cells and their cytopathogenic effects monitored by microscopy. Proviral load was quantified by real-time PCR using customized primer and probes. Statistical analysis comprised Analysis of Variance and Bonferroni Multiple Comparison Test. RESULTS The isolated viruses belonged to the small ruminant lentiviruses A4 subtype that appears to be prominent in Switzerland. The 4 isolates replicated very efficiently in macrophages, displaying heterogeneous phenotypes, with two isolates showing a pronounced cytopathogenicity for these cells. By contrast, all 4 isolates had a poor replication capacity in goat and sheep fibroblasts. The proviral loads in the peripheral blood and, in particular, in the mammary gland were surprisingly high compared to previous observations. Nevertheless, these viruses appear to be of low virulence for goats except for the mammary gland were histopathological changes were observed. CONCLUSIONS Small ruminant lentiviruses continue to circulate in Switzerland despite a long and expensive caprine arthritis encephalitis virus eradication campaign. We isolated 4 of these lentiviruses and confirmed their phylogenetic association with the prominent A4 subtype. The pathological and histopathological analysis of the infected animals supported the hypothesis that these A4 viruses are of low pathogenicity for goats, with, however, a caveat about the potentially detrimental effects on the mammary gland. Moreover, the high proviral load detected indicates that the immune system of the animals cannot control the infection and this, combined with the phenotypic plasticity observed in vitro, strongly argues in favour of a continuous and precise monitoring of these SRLV to avoid the risk of jeopardizing a long eradication campaign.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Host-Pathogen Interaction
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Animal Pathology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Virology and Immunology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)

UniBE Contributor:

Deubelbeiss, Martina; Blatti-Cardinaux, Laure Sarah Pauline; Zahno, Marie-Luise; Zanoni, Reto Giacomo; Vogt, Hans-Rudolf; Posthaus, Horst and Bertoni, Giuseppe

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

1743-422X

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Language:

English

Submitter:

Barbara Gautschi-Steffen

Date Deposited:

02 Apr 2015 13:23

Last Modified:

03 Apr 2015 11:41

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/1743-422X-11-65

PubMed ID:

24708706

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.66381

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/66381

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