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Evaluation of the natural perinatal transmission of bovine leukaemia virus
  1. Hirohisa Mekata1,
  2. Satoshi Sekiguchi2,3,
  3. Satoru Konnai4,
  4. Yumi Kirino1,5,
  5. Kazuyuki Honkawa5,
  6. Nariaki Nonaka3,5,
  7. Yoichiro Horii3,5 and
  8. Junzo Norimine2,3
  1. 1Project for Zoonoses Education and Research, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Miyazaki, 1-1 Gakuen-Kibanadai-Nishi, Miyazaki 889-2192, Japan
  2. 2Laboratory of Animal Infectious Disease and Prevention, Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Miyazaki, 1-1 Gakuen-Kibanadai-Nishi, Miyazaki 889-2192, Japan
  3. 3Center for Animal Disease Control, University of Miyazaki, 1-1 Gakuen-Kibanadai-Nishi, Miyazaki 889-2192, Japan
  4. 4Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, Department of Disease Control, Graduate School of Veterinary Medicine, Hokkaido University, Kita 18 Nishi 9, Sapporo 060-0818, Japan
  5. 5Laboratory of Veterinary Parasitic Diseases, Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, University of Miyazaki, 1-1 Gakuen-Kibanadai-Nishi, Miyazaki 889-2192, Japan
  1. E-mail for correspondence: nori{at}cc.miyazaki-u.ac.jp

Abstract

The perinatal transmission of bovine leukaemia virus (BLV) plays a critical role in the spread and persistence of BLV infection in cattle herds. The purpose of this study was to examine the frequency of perinatal infections in an area in Japan and investigate some risk factors associated with infection. Altogether, 129 calves born to BLV-infected cows in a herd in Japan were tested for infection immediately after birth and again at one month of age using nested PCR. Twenty-four calves (18.6 per cent) were infected with BLV, of which 14 (10.8 per cent) and 10 (7.7 per cent) calves were infected via the transplacental and the birth canal routes, respectively. Maternal viral loads, breed, the presence or absence of assistance during parturition and the number of births per dam were evaluated to investigate risk factors associated with infection. Maternal viral load was significantly correlated with the frequency of perinatal infection, and more than 40 per cent of newborn calves born to dams with high viral loads were infected with BLV. The results of this study could contribute towards developing effective eradication programmes by providing necessary data for replacement of breeding cow in the field.

  • Calves
  • Retroviruses
  • Cattle
  • PCR
  • Accepted October 2, 2014.

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