Borna Disease in an Adult Alpaca Stallion (Lama pacos)

Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Hannover, Germany.
Journal of comparative pathology (Impact Factor: 1.14). 02/2010; 143(2-3):203-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jcpa.2010.01.009
Source: PubMed


Borna disease (BD) was diagnosed in a 2-year-old male alpaca with a history of chronic suppressed sexual desire and acute stretching convulsions. Microscopical examination of the central nervous system revealed non-purulent meningoencephalitis with mononuclear perivascular cuffing. The diagnosis was confirmed by immunohistochemistry, in-situ hybridization, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing of PCR products and alignment with known Borna disease virus sequences. Serological screening of the herd was performed. This is the first detailed report of naturally occurring BD in alpacas.

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    • "This can be hypothesized to be the crucial time frame in which the virus spreads to horses and other Equidae. Expecting an incubation period of 2–6 mo, as assessed by recent natural cases of BDV infection (Jacobsen et al., 2010; Reichelt, 2010; Priestnall et al., 2011), the accumulation of BD cases in spring and early summer fits well with this scenario. Moreover, C. leucodon is mainly insectivorous but, under food shortage, it can be omnivorous (Krapp, 1990), which further increases potential transmission via food or litter. "
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract Borna disease (BD) is a severe endemic and fatal disorder caused by the neurotropic Borna disease virus (BDV) which mainly occurs in horses and sheep. Borna disease virus belongs to the order Mononegavirales, which includes many reservoir-bound viruses with high zoonotic and pathogenic properties including the filoviruses and lyssaviruses. Clinically manifest BD occurs in endemic areas of Germany, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, and Austria. A seasonal accumulation of cases in spring and summer, incidences that vary from year to year, and the recent detection of BDV in bicolored shrews (Crocidura leucodon) in Swiss endemic areas argue for a natural reservoir. We established a geographic information system analysis of the distribution of 485 equine BD cases in Bavarian (Germany) endemic areas and of the occurrence of 285 records of C. leucodon captured in Bavaria. Boosted regression trees were used to identify driving factors of habitat choice and virus prevalence. The distribution model of C. leucodon and the prevalence model for BDV had very good accuracy. Mean annual precipitation <900 mm, mean annual temperatures of 8 C, elevation <350 m, low forest cover, and a high percentage of urban fabric and arable land describe the optimal habitat for C. leucodon. Occurrence probability of C. leucodon was significantly higher in Bavarian BDV-endemic areas than in random areas in Bavaria. The prevalence of BD was higher in urban areas with annual mean precipitation of 800-900 mm, annual mean temperature of 8 C, and elevation >500 m. Our results indicate that the distribution model can accurately predict BD occurrence. Based on these results, practical safety precautions could be derived. The BDV model represents a suitable system for reservoir-bound, neurotropic Mononegavirales because it allows analyzing ecologic and biologic aspects that determine virus abundance, maintenance in reservoir species, and transmission to end host species.
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    ABSTRACT: Borna disease virus (BDV) has gained lot of interest because of its zoonotic potential, ability to introduce cDNA of its RNA transcripts into host genomes, and ability to cause severe neurobehavioural diseases. Classical Borna disease is a progressive meningoencephalomyelitis in horses and sheep known in central Europe for centuries. According to current knowledge BDV or its close relative infects also several other species, including at least occasionally humans, in central Europe and elsewhere, but the existence of potential 'human Borna disease' with its suspected neuropsychiatric symptoms is highly controversial. The recent detection of endogenised BDV genes in primate and various other vertebrate genomes confirm that at least the ancient Bborna viruses infected our ancestors. The epidemiology of BDV is largely unknown, but accumulating evidence indicates vectors and reservoirs among small wild mammals. The aim of this review is to bring together the current knowledge on epidemiology of BDV infections. Specifically, geographic and host distribution are addressed and assessed in the critical light of the detection methods used. We also review some salient clinical aspects.
    Journal of General Virology 12/2012; 94(Pt_2). DOI:10.1099/vir.0.046961-0 · 3.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Borna disease (BD) is a sporadic neurologic disease of horses and sheep caused by mammalian Borna disease virus (BDV). Its unique epidemiological features include: limited occurrence in certain endemic regions of central Europe, yearly varying disease peaks, and a seasonal pattern with higher disease frequencies in spring and a disease nadir in autumn. It is most probably not directly transmitted between horses and sheep. All these features led to the assumption that an indigenous virus reservoir of BDV other than horses and sheep may exist. The search for such a reservoir had been unsuccessful until a few years ago five BDV-infected shrews were found in a BD-endemic area in Switzerland. So far, these data lacked further confirmation. We therefore initiated a study in shrews in endemic areas of Germany. Within five years 107 shrews of five different species were collected. BDV infections were identified in 14 individuals of the species bicolored white-toothed shrew (Crocidura leucodon, HERMANN 1780), all originating from BD-endemic territories. Immunohistological analysis showed widespread distribution of BDV antigen both in the nervous system and in epithelial and mesenchymal tissues without pathological alterations. Large amounts of virus, demonstrated by presence of viral antigen in epithelial cells of the oral cavity and in keratinocytes of the skin, may be a source of infection for natural and spill-over hosts. Genetic analyses reflected a close relationship of the BDV sequences obtained from the shrews with the regional BDV cluster. At one location a high percentage of BDV-positive shrews was identified in four consecutive years, which points towards a self-sustaining infection cycle in bicolored white-toothed shrews. Analyses of behavioral and population features of this shrew species revealed that the bicolored white-toothed shrew may indeed play an important role as an indigenous host of BDV.
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