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  • Author or Editor: Katherine L. Marshall x
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Objective—To determine the prevalence of antibodies against small ruminant lentivirus (SRLV), the causative agent of ovine progressive pneumonia (OPP), and to identify risk factors associated with OPP in Wyoming sheep flocks.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—1,415 sheep from 54 flocks in Wyoming.

Procedures—Flocks were surveyed as part of the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) 2011 sheep study. Serum samples obtained from sheep in Wyoming were analyzed for anti-SRLV antibodies by use of a competitive-inhibition ELISA. The prevalence of seropositive animals overall and within each flock was calculated. Respective associations between flock OPP status and various demographic and management variables were assessed.

Results—The estimated prevalence of sheep seropositive for anti-SRLV antibodies and OPP-infected flocks in Wyoming was 18.0% and 47.5%, respectively. Within OPP-infected flocks, the prevalence of seropositive sheep ranged from 3.9% to 96%. Flocks maintained on nonfenced range were more likely to be infected with OPP than were flocks maintained on fenced range (OR, 3.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 10.7). The estimated prevalence of OPP-infected flocks in Wyoming did not vary substantially from that at the regional or national level reported in the NAHMS 2001 sheep study. Compared with results of the NAHMS 2011 sheep study, Wyoming producers were more familiar with OPP than were other US sheep producers, but only 61% of Wyoming producers surveyed reported being very or somewhat familiar with the disease.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that OPP is prevalent in many Wyoming sheep flocks, which suggested that continued efforts are necessary to increase producer knowledge about the disease and investigate practices to minimize economic losses associated with OPP.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the suitability and estimate the sensitivity of an immunohistochemical (IHC) test for disease-associated prion protein (PrPSc) in biopsy specimens of rectoanal mucosa–associated lymphoid tissue (RAMALT) for diagnosis of scrapie in sheep.

Animals—762 sheep at high risk for having scrapie and indemnified by the National Scrapie Eradication Program.

Procedures—The IHC test for PrPSc was applied to 2 RAMALT and 2 third-eyelid biopsy specimens and a postmortem RAMALT specimen from each sheep. Results were compared with those of a reference test in which results for tissues from obex and retropharyngeal lymph nodes, tonsil, or both were considered in parallel.

Results—The reference test identified 139 sheep as having scrapie. Biopsy-related complications occurred in 3 sheep. Sensitivity of the IHC test in RAMALT ranged from 85.3% to 89.4%, depending on the anatomic location from which RAMALT was obtained. Results for the test applied to 1 RAMALT specimen were similar to results interpreted in parallel for 2 third-eyelid specimens (sensitivity, 87.0%). The proportion of inconclusive test results attributable to insufficient lymphoid follicles in biopsy specimens was lower when considering results for 2 RAMALT specimens in parallel (10.1%) than when considering results for 2 third-eyelid specimens in parallel (23.7%). Specimens of RAMALT that were inappropriately collected from an area caudal to the rectoanal interface yielded a high proportion of inconclusive results (33.3% to 50.0%).

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The IHC test for PrPSc in RAMALT was an effective means of detecting subclinical scrapie in live, high-risk sheep.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research