Association of Maedi Visna virus with Brucella ovis infection in rams

  • S Preziuso |
  • E Sanna
  • MP Sanna
  • C Loddo
  • D Cerri
  • E Taccini
  • F Mariotti
  • G Braca
  • G Rossi


Maedi Visna Virus (MVV) is the etiological agent of a systemic disease of sheep, which causes lesions in lungs, the central nervous system, joints, and mammary glands. It has been speculated that the association with Brucella ovis may lead to the venereal shedding of the virus. In this work, samples of epididymis from ten rams positive for MVV and infected experimentally with Brucella ovis, were subjected to liquid- phase PCR, immunohistochemistry (IHC) and in situ PCR tests, aimed at identifying the pathogens in a tissue context. IHC was carried out using a monoclonal antibody raised against p28 MVV protein and a polyclonal antibody to B. ovis. Liquid phase- and in situ PCR were designed to amplify a portion of MVV proviral DNA Pol sequence. In the animals showing B. ovis-related histopathological changes, IHC clearly demonstrated a positivity for B. ovis and MVV in interstitial and epithelial ductal cells. In situ PCR assessed the presence of MVV proviral DNA in macrophages and elements inside the epithelium. The unaffected and reagent control samples constantly gave negative results. Taken together, these data demonstrate that MVV may affect ovine epididymis, apparently taking advantage of the concurrent infection by B. ovis. The tropism of MVV for the epididymal epithelial cells, may be responsible for its excretion with the semen.



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How to Cite
Preziuso, S., Sanna, E., Sanna, M., Loddo, C., Cerri, D., Taccini, E., Mariotti, F., Braca, G., & Rossi, G. (2009). Association of Maedi Visna virus with Brucella ovis infection in rams. European Journal of Histochemistry, 47(2), 151-158.