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Objective—To characterize a 2007 bluetongue disease (BT) epizootic caused by bluetongue virus (BTV) serotype 17 in sheep in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—1,359 sheep from ranches in Wyoming and Montana.

Procedures—Information on clinical signs and history of BT in sheep was obtained from ranchers and attending veterinarians. At 3 to 6 months after the 2007 BT epizootic, blood samples were collected from rams, ewes, and lambs within and outside the Big Horn Basin; blood samples were also collected from lambs born in the spring of 2008. Sera were tested for anti-BTV antibodies by use of a competitive ELISA to determine the seroprevalence of BTV in sheep and to measure antibody titers. Virus isolation and reverse transcriptase PCR assays were used to determine long-term presence of the infectious virus or viral genetic material in RBCs of sheep.

Results—The percentage of sheep seropositive for BTV closely matched morbidity of sheep within flocks, indicating few subclinical infections. Flocks separated by as little as 1 mile had substantial variation in infection rate. Rams were infected at a higher rate than ewes. There was no evidence of BTV successfully overwintering in the area.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—This epizootic appears to be a new intrusion of BTV into a naïve population of sheep previously protected geographically by the mountains surrounding the Big Horn Basin. Rams may have a higher infection rate as a result of increased vector biting opportunity because of the large surface area of the scrotum.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To compare replication of bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) in pulmonary artery endothelial cells (ECs) obtained from juvenile cattle, sheep, white-tailed deer (WTD; Odocoileus virginianus), and black-tailed deer (BTD; O hemionus columbianus).

Sample Population—Cultures of pulmonary artery ECs obtained from 3 cattle, 3 sheep, 3 WTD, and 1 BTD.

Procedure—Purified cultures of pulmonary artery ECs were established. Replication, incidence of infection, and cytopathic effects of prototype strains of BTV serotype 17 (BTV-17) and 2 serotypes of EHDV (EHDV-1), and (EHDV-2) were compared in replicate cultures of ECs from each of the 4 ruminant species by use of virus titration and flow cytometric analysis.

Results—All 3 viruses replicated in ECs from the 4 ruminant species; however, BTV-17 replicated more rapidly than did either serotype of EHDV. Each virus replicated to a high titer in all ECs, although titers of EHDV-1 were significantly lower in sheep ECs than in ECs of other species. Furthermore, all viruses caused extensive cytopathic effects and a high incidence of cellular infection; however, incidence of cellular infection and cytopathic effects were significantly lower in EHDV-1-infected sheep ECs and EHDV-2-infected BTD ECs.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—There were only minor differences in replication, incidence of infection, and cytopathic effects for BTV-17, EHDV-1, or EHDV-2 in ECs of cattle, sheep, BTD, and WTD. It is not likely that differences in expression of disease in BTV- and EHDV-infected ruminants are attributable only to species-specific differences in the susceptibility of ECs to infection with the 2 orbiviruses. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:860–865)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate transduction efficiency of gene therapy for treatment of osteoarthritis in horses.

Sample—Cartilage and synovial tissues were aseptically collected from the stifle joints of 3 Thoroughbreds; horses were 3, 7, and 12 years old and free from sepsis and long-term drug treatment and were euthanized for reasons unrelated to joint disease.

Procedures—Gene transfer experiments were performed with 8 recombinant adeno-associated viral vector (rAAV) serotypes in monolayer-cultured equine chondrocytes, synovial cells, and mesenchymal stromal cells and in cartilage and synovial tissues.

Results—Serotypes rAAV2/5 and rAAV2/2 yielded the highest transduction efficiency in cultured cells 6 days after transduction. Synovial cells and mesenchymal stromal cells were more readily transduced than were chondrocytes. Serotype rAAV2/6.2 yielded the highest rate of gene expression in both cartilage and synovial tissues at 6 days after inoculation. However, at 30 and 60 days after inoculation, gene expression of serotypes rAAV2/2 and rAAV2/5 surpassed that of rAAV2/6.2 and all other serotypes.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Maximally expressing serotypes changed between 6 and 30 days in tissues; however, the most efficient serotypes for transduction of joint cells over time were also the most efficient serotypes for transduction of joint tissues. In addition, the low transduction efficiency of articular cartilage tissue was paralleled by a low transduction efficiency of isolated chondrocytes. This suggested that the typically low transduction efficiency of articular cartilage may be attributable in part to the low transduction efficiency of the chondrocytes and not solely a result of the dense cartilage matrix.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research