The epidemiology of malignant catarrhal fever viruses in bison
Berezowski, John Andrew
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A competitive inhibition enzyme linked immunosorbent assay was validated and used to estimate the prevalence of MCF-group virus infections in a sample of Alberta farmed bison. Prevalence among 995 slaughterhouse specimens was 21.8%. Among 953 samples from a serum bank the prevalence was 23.9%, and among 646 samples from five bison herds the prevalence was 23.4%. Test results from samples from one isolated bison herd collected over a period of six years provided evidence that an MCF-group virus was being transmitted across generations in the absence of exposure to any other ruminant sources of MCF-group viruses. Study of an outbreak of MCF in bison following a brief exposure to sheep provided very strong evidence that transmission of MCF among bison does not occur. Culturing lymphocytes from 12 healthy adult bison in the presence of the phorbol ester, 12-0-tetradecanoyl phorbol-13-acetate and testing of DNA extracted from these cultures with consensus herpesvirus PCR allowed the identification of viruses very similar to ovine herpesvirus two in five of the bison samples.