Grego, Elena and De Meneghi, Daniele and Alvarez, Vega and Benito, Alfredo A. and Minguijón, Esmeralda and Ortín, Aurora and Mattoni, Mario and Moreno, Bernardino and Pérez de Villarreal, Maider and Alberti, Alberto and Capucchio, Maria Teresa and Caporale, Marco and Juste, Ramón and Rosati, Sergio and De las Heras, Marcelo (2008) Colostrum and milk can transmit jaagsiekte retrovirus to lambs. Veterinary Microbiology, Vol. 130 (3-4), p. 247-257. ISSN 0378-1135. Article.
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Ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA) is a contagious disease caused by jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV). In the three studies performed, we have obtained data of the importance of colostrum/milk (C/M) in the transmission of JSRV. In the first study, a group of sheep from a flock with a long history of OPA, samples from colostrum and peripheral blood leucocytes (PBLs) were collected. Two specific PCRs (U3-LTR and env of the JSRV) were carried out. Using U3PCR 8/34 sheep were positive in colostrum whereas with envPCR 7/34 were positive. From these animals only one was positive with U3PCR in the PBLs. Evidence of the transmission of JSRV infection by C/M was obtained in two more separate studies. In the second study, PBLs from five lambs from JSRV+ ewes and two from JSRV-ewes were tested by the U3PCR. They were fed C/M by their mothers during 3 months and slaughtered 7 months after birth. Three out of five lambs from the JSRV+ sheep become PBL positive at 3–4 months old and the other two were also positive at 4–6 months of age. One lamb of the JSRV-sheep became also PBL positive at an age of 3 months. In the third study, a group of lambs from JSRV negative mothers were fed with C/M from JSRV+ sheep and housed in separate unit. For comparison, another group of the same origin and maintained in another different unit, were fed with C/M containing a JSRV virus preparation. All lambs were blood sampled monthly and JSRV infection was detected as early as 15 days and several times onwards in both groups. Control groups fed with C/M from JSRV free flock and JSRV blood test negative sheep were always negative. Together these results indicate that suckling is an important natural transmission route for JSRV.
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