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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Inoculation of 53 ewes after 35, 45, 60, or 80 days of gestation with bluetongue virus serotypes 10, 11, 13, or 17, or with epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus serotypes 1 or 2, resulted in overt clinical disease in the 47 ewes inoculated with bluetongue virus but not in the 6 ewes inoculated with epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus. None of the lambs produced by these ewes had developmental defects or any evidence of persistence of viremia.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


The consequences of inoculation of bluetongue virus (btv) serotype 11 into 16 susceptible cows either at the time of breeding or at specified stages of pregnancy were studied. The cows were free of btv or epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus, and none had antibodies to btv before virus inoculation. A group of 4 cows was mated naturally to a bull reported to shed btv-11 (CO75B300 strain) in the semen. The bull was suspected of infecting cows at mating with btv-11, which subsequently transplacentally infected the developing fetuses and induced persistently infected and congenitally malformed progeny.

Two groups of 4 pregnant cows were inoculated with an insect-derived strain of btv-11 (CO75B300), one group by direct deposit into the uterus at estrus, the other, by intradermal and sc administrations. A 90-day fetus was inoculated in utero with virus from the same pool.

Four pregnant cows were inoculated with sheep blood-passaged virus of the same btv-11 strain (CO75B300) by intradermal and sc routes. Three cows were inoculated with btv-free suspending fluids and ovine erythrocytes by the intrauterine and intradermal-sc routes and were used as in-contact controls.

Infection with insect-derived btv-11 was confirmed in 3 cows of 1 group by virus isolation and by detection of serum antibodies. The 4 cows inoculated with sheep blood suspension of btv- 11 developed viremia and produced antibodies to the virus. None of the cattle had clinical signs of bluetongue, other than 2 cows that had a slight rectal temperature increase on postinoculation day 4.

All cows and fetuses that ranged in gestational age from 69 to 217 days appeared grossly normal at necropsy. Antibodies were not detected in fetal blood. Viral antigen was not detected in fetal tissues by inoculation into sheep or by immunofluoerscence, and viral rna was not detected by use of the polymerase chain reaction.

Developmental deformities were not seen in any fetus. The btv-11 was not transmitted via the bull semen after natural mating. The btv-11 strain CO75B300, isolated from this bull and passaged either as insect-derived or ovine erythrocyte suspensions, infected 8 cows. However, the virus was not transplacentally transmitted to their fetuses. It was concluded that there was no evidence for congenital btv-11 infection in this study.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Sheep had viremias that were first detected on day 3 (± 1) after infection with several strains of bluetongue virus (btv) representing United States serotypes 10, 11, 13, and 17. Diphasic peaks of infectivity were attained on days 6 and 10 (± 2). Interferon (ifn) was first detected in serum samples on day 5 (± 1), and reached greatest concentrations on day 6 (± 2), which coincided with the first viremic peak; ifn concentrations then decreased toward zero by day 10 (± 2). Interferon peak concentrations induced approximately a 90% decrease in virus titer. The decrease in ifn concentrations by day 9 (± 2) corresponded with the second viremic peak on day 10 (± 2). Onset of the decrease in detectable concentrations of virus after the second peak of viremia corresponded to the initial detection of serum antibody to btv by day 10 (± 2). Virus titer decreased and antibody production increased until approximately days 21 to 28, when the titers plateaued and virus was not detected. Febrile responses peaked on day 7 (± 1) during the peak viremic period. The wbc count was depressed at the time the virus titer increased, but returned to normal values while the sheep were still viremic. Diphasic viremias in btv-infected sheep were attributed to induction of high concentrations of ifn concurrent with the first virus titer peak, followed by production of antibody to specific btv strains and a subsequent reduction in viremia at the second virus titer peak.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate herd-level risk factors for seropositive status of cattle to 1 or more bluetongue viruses.

Animals—110 herds of cattle in Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Procedure—Blood samples were collected before and after the vector season. Samples were tested for antibodies against bluetongue virus by use of a commercially available competitive ELISA. Factors evaluated included descriptors of geographic location and management practices. Trapping of insect vectors was conducted to evaluate vector status on a subset of 57 operations. A multivariable logistic regression model was constructed to evaluate associations.

Results—For the full data set, altitude and latitude were associated with risk of having seropositive cattle (an increase in altitude was associated with an increase in risk, and a more northerly location was associated with a decrease in risk of a premise having seropositive cattle). Import of cattle from selected states was associated with an increase in risk of having seropositive cattle. From the subset of herds with data on vector trapping, altitude and latitude were associated with risk of having seropositive cattle, similar to that for the full model. However, commingling with cattle from other herds was associated with a decrease in risk of seropositivity.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Findings reported here may be useful in generating additional hypotheses regarding the ecologic characteristics of bluetongue viruses and other vector-borne diseases of livestock. Sentinel surveillance programs are useful for documenting regionalization zones for diseases, which can be beneficial when securing international markets for animals and animal products. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:853–860)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research