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Skeletal Muscle Hypoplasia Represents the Only Significant Lesion in Peripheral Organs of Ruminants Infected with Schmallenberg Virus during Gestation

Seehusen, F., Hahn, K., Herder, V., Weigand, M., Habierski, A., Gerhauser, I., Wohlsein, P., Peters, M., Varela, M., Palmarini, M., Baumgärtner, W.
Journal of comparative pathology 2014 v.151 no.2-3 pp. 148-152
RNA, Schmallenberg virus, arboviruses, calves, fibrosis, gastrointestinal system, hyperplasia, immunohistochemistry, inflammation, lambs, pathogens, pregnancy, respiratory system, skeletal muscle, viral antigens, Europe
Schmallenberg virus (SBV), an arbovirus within the family Bunyaviridae, represents a ruminant pathogen that has caused epidemic abortion and birth of malformed or stillborn animals in many European countries since August 2011. Histological and immunohistochemical analysis of peripheral tissues of SBV-infected animals, including lymphoid tissues, endocrine organs and tissues of the gastrointestinal, urogenital and respiratory system, were analyzed in order to elucidate the occurrence of SBV-associated changes and the presence of viral antigens and RNA. Twenty calves and 12 lambs as well as age-matched controls were included in this study. Significant muscular hypoplasia with fatty replacement was noted in affected calves and lambs. In addition, hepatocellular degeneration with lymphohistiocytic inflammation, interstitial fibrosis and biliary hyperplasia was detected in calves. All animals lacked SBV-positive cells in the peripheral organs. These observations resemble those found in Akabane virus- and Cache Valley virus-infected animals and support the occurrence of few residual lesions in peripheral organs following SBV infection.