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Bovine leukaemia virus (BLV) causes enzootic bovine leukosis (EBL) in cattle and represents a serious problem in Japanese meat and dairy industries (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries). BLV can be vertically or horizontally transmitted through the transfer of infected cells via several potential routes. One of the major routes of horizontal transmission is by direct contact of mucosal surfaces, or broken skin, with a mixture of blood, exudates and tissues (Hopkins and DiGiacomo 1997). Furthermore, BLV can be horizontally transmitted through the transfer of infected cells by bites of insects, such as stable flies (Stomoxys calcitrans) (Buxton and others 1985). Thus, in addition to the prevention of iatrogenic and contact transmissions, vector control is important for preventing the spread of BLV infection. In this study, BLV from newly infected cattle was characterised to determine the virus source in a herd and a vector control measure was used to prevent the spread of the infection.
The samples were collected from Japanese Black cattle (beef cattle) on a model farm (Farm A) in Yaeyama Island, Okinawa. BLV infection was tested by the passive haemagglutination assay (Nippon Institute for Biological Science, Tokyo, Japan), according to the manufacturer's instructions. In BLV-positive cattle, leukocytes were counted using Celltac α MEK-6258 (Nihon …