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Abstract

OBJECTIVE

To compare pregnancy-associated glycoprotein 1 (PAG1) concentrations in maternal (jugular vein) and fetal (uterine vein) circulations and amniotic fluid samples between pregnant ewes that were and were not experimentally infected with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV).

ANIMALS

11 healthy pregnant yearling ewes.

PROCEDURES

Before study initiation, all ewes were naïve to BVDV and confirmed pregnant by transabdominal ultrasonography at approximately 60 days of gestation. At 65 days of gestation, ewes were intranasally inoculated with a noncytopathic BVDV type 1b strain (concentration, 107 TCID50/mL; 2 mL/nostril; n = 6) or an equal volume of BVDV-free viral culture medium (control; 5). A blood sample was collected for measurement of PAG1 concentration before inoculation. At 80 days of gestation, each ewe was anesthetized and underwent an ovariohysterectomy. While sheep were anesthetized, blood samples from the jugular and uterine veins and an amniotic fluid sample were collected for measurement of PAG1 concentration. Fetal tissues underwent real-time PCR analysis for BVDV RNA, and placental specimens underwent histologic evaluation and immunohistochemical staining for BVDV antigen.

RESULTS

At 80 days of gestation, BVDV RNA in fetal tissues and mild placentitis were detected in 5 of 6 BVDV-inoculated ewes. Mean PAG1 concentrations in the maternal and fetal circulations of BVDV-inoculated ewes were significantly less than those in control ewes. Mean amniotic fluid PAG1 concentration did not differ significantly between the 2 groups.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE

Concentration of PAG1 in the maternal circulation may be a useful biomarker for determining placental health in sheep after viral infection of the reproductive tract.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research