Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

p. 01-07

Bovine herpesviruses do not play a major role in the differential diagnosis of rabies in cattle in Southern Brazil

Castagnino Kunert Filho, HiranEsmaile de Sales Lima, FranciscoPaulo Cibulski, SamuelSouza Campos, FabrícioSecchi, PriscilaBeatriz de Carvalho Ruthner Batista, HelenaMarta Elsner Diederichsen de Brito, WiliaCarlos Ferreira, JoséAntonius Maria Rijsewijk, FranciscusCláudia Franco, AnaMichel Roehe, Paulo

Background: Rabies has long been recognized as the major cause of encephalitis in cattle in Latin American countries. It has been estimated that nearly 50.000 cattle heads per year are lost due to encephalitis in that subcontinent, with a significant economic impact on cattle productive chains. In Brazil only, 2.500 to 3.000 cattle heads are estimated to be lost every year due to rabies. However, it is believed that rabies incidence in cattle is much larger, since usually only a few samples from affected animals in disease outbreaks are submitted to diagnostic laboratories. Rabies encephalitis is promptly and accurately diagnosed; however, particularly when rabies is excluded as causa mortis, the agent responsible for neurological disease of infectious origin often remains undetermined. Two bovine herpesviruses (BoHVs), bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BoHV-1) and bovine herpesvirus type 5 (BoHV-5) are major pathogens of cattle which are widely disseminated in Brazil. As usual in herpesvirus biology, these tend to infect a large number of hosts and establish lifelong latent infections which may occasionally be reactivated. Both viruses, particularly BoHV-5, are often recovered from cases of neurological disease in cattle. The participation of BoHVs in the differential diagnosis of rabies must be evaluated. Besides, there might be associations between the occurrence of rabies and BoH

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