Isolation of Maedi/Visna Virus from a Sheep in Japan
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Maedi/visna (MV) is a lentiviral disease of sheep caused by the maedi/visna virus (MVV). Although MV is prevalent in many countries, it had not been reported in Japan. In 2011, however, three sheep in northern Japan were reported to be seropositive against the MVV antigen, indicating a persistent MVV infection. In the present study, we isolated MVV from one sheep to confirm MVV infection and conducted genomic classification of the virus. The co-culture of leukocytes from a seropositive sheep with fetal goat lung cells resulted in the formation of syncytial cells and the amplification of a long terminal repeat sequence of MVV by polymerase chain reaction. The isolate was confirmed as being MVV, rather than the caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus based on phylogenetic analysis of the <i>gag</i> gene sequence. Although the sheep was asymptomatic, nonpurulent meningitis and demyelination were found in the spinal cord. These were considered to be early lesions associated with pathogenic MVV infection. Therefore, the present study demonstrated that MVV is distributed in Japan.
- Journal of Veterinary Medical Science
Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 76(2), 211-218, 2014
JAPANESE SOCIETY OF VETERINARY SCIENCE