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Pathological changes in the lungs and mammary glands of sheep and their relationship with maedi-visna infection
  1. L Lujan,
  2. JF Garcia Marin,
  3. D Fernandez de Luco,
  4. A Vargas and
  5. JJ Badiola
  1. Department of Animal Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Zaragoza, Spain.


Maedi-visna, a multisystemic disease of adult sheep, was first described in Spain in 1984. To get an idea of the seroprevalence of the disease locally and to estimate the number of seropositive animals with lesions, samples of blood, lungs and mammary glands were taken from 124 randomly selected sheep killed in the main slaughterhouse of Zaragoza. In the agar gel immunodiffusion test, 74 (59.7 per cent) of the sheep were positive and 50 were negative. Among the 74 seropositive animals, 19 (25.6 per cent) had no lesions in any organ, 12 (16.2 per cent) had lesions in the lungs only, 15 (20.2 per cent) had lesions in the mammary glands and 28 (37.8 per cent) had lesions in both organs. In the lungs hyperplasia of lymphoid follicles was more evident than an interstitial infiltrate but in the mammary glands this relationship was not observed. Even when the lesions occurred in both organs, they did not show the expected proportion in terms of either type or severity. Among the 50 seronegative sheep, eight (16 per cent) showed maedi-like lesions, formed exclusively by the hyperplasia of lymphoid follicles.

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