Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Circovirus confirmed in German cattle

This seems to be the first confirmation that it is circovirus in German cattle.

We already have German reports that it was suspected in English, Welsh and Scottish cattle, as well as Dutch and German, see our report on the 7th November 2009

see http://animal-epidemics.blogspot.com/2009/11/circovirus-reaches-british-dutch-and.html

Circovirus reaches British, Dutch and German cattle


Bone marrow depletion with haemorrhagic diathesis in calves in Germany: characterization of the disease and preliminary investigations on its aetiology.

Kappe EC, Halami MY, Schade B, Alex M, Hoffmann D, Gangl A, Meyer K, Dekant W, Schwarz BA, Johne R, Buitkamp J, Böttcher J, Müller H.

Bavarian Animal Health Service, Poing, Germany. eva.kappe@tgd-bayern.de

Since 2007 a new fatal haemorrhagic diathesis in calves has been observed in all areas of Germany. Analysis of 56 cases submitted for necropsy allowed its characterization. Calves fell ill within the first month of life independent of breed and sex. Only single or a few animals per herd were affected. Petechial and ecchymotic haemorrhages in many organs and tissues, particularly in skin, subcutis and gastrointestinal tract, were major findings in all animals. Microscopically a severe depletion of bone marrow cells was always observed. Lymphocytic depletion (43%) and inflammatory lesions (46%) were less frequently observed. Blood analysis of five animals indicated an aplastic pancytopenia. The resulting thrombocytopenia is regarded as major pathomechanism of this Haemorrhagic Disease Syndrome (HDS). Pedigree analysis gave no indication of hereditary disease.

Tests for specific toxins such as S-(1,2-Dichlorovinyl)-L-cysteine (DCVC), furazolidone, or mycotoxins resulting in bone marrow depletion were negative. Bacterial infections, Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus, and Bluetongue Virus were ruled out as cause of the disease. HDS shares similarities with a circoviral infection in chickens (chicken infectious anaemia). A broad-spectrum PCR allowed detection of circoviral DNA in 5 of 25 HDS cases and in 1 of 8 non-HDS cases submitted for necropsy. Sequencing of the whole viral genome revealed a high similarity (up to 99%) with Porcine Circovirus type 2b. Single bone marrow cells stained weakly positive for PCV2 antigen by immunohistochemistry in 1 of 8 tested HDS animals.

This is the first report of circovirus detection in cattle in Germany.

The exact cause of HDS still remains unknown. A multifactorial aetiology involving infection, poisoning, immunopathy, or a genetic predisposition is conceivable. Additional research is necessary to clarify the pathogenesis and the potential role of PCV2 in HDS.

PMID: 20135908 [PubMed - in process]