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Prevalence of antibodies against Bubaline herpesvirus (BuHV-1) among Mediterranean water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) with implications in buffalo trade
- Caruso, C., Prato, R., Ingravalle, F., Vecchio, D., Sciarra, A., Ternavasio, M., Ceccarelli, L., Martucciello, A., Galiero, G., De Carlo, E., Masoero, L.
- The Veterinary quarterly 2016 v.36 no.4 pp. 184-188
- Bovine herpesvirus 1, Bubalus bubalis, absorbance, animal health, antibodies, antigens, buffaloes, cattle, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, false positive results, farms, financial economics, glycoproteins, herds, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, piedmont, reproduction, seroconversion, trade, Italy
- Background: Both Bovine herpesvirus (BoHV-1) and Bubaline herpesvirus (BuHV-1) have been reported to cross the species barrier. Antibody seroconversion in glycoprotein E (gE) blocking ELISA during BuHV-1 infection has been documented. Recent diagnostic efforts have focused on the development and application of discriminatory tests to distinguish between infections with BoHV-1 and BuHV-1. Objective: To evaluate the impact and distribution of these two infections in water buffalo farms in two regions (Piedmont (n = 3) and Campania (n = 10), Italy) where infectious bovine rhinotracheitis control programs have been implemented. Animals and methods: Sampling was carried out on 13 buffalo farms comprising 1089 animals using specific gE-indirect ELISA's test able to discriminate among BoHV-1 and BuHV-1 infections. Results: 59.0% of animals reacted positive to ELISA (irrespective of whether BoHV-1 or BuHV-1 antigen was used) and 86.4% of these were reactive to BuHV-1 only, whereas 11.8% showed absorbance values for both antigens and were classified as inconclusive. There was a statistically significant age-related difference in BuHV-1 infection rates but not in overall individual (47% vs. 58%) or herd prevalence (100% vs. 90%) of infection between the two regions. Conclusion: The low percentage of sera reactive to BoHV-1 (1.8%, 12/643) indicates that BuHV-1 may be the main circulating alphaherpesvirus infection in Mediterranean water buffalo in the two study areas. Since Bubalus bubalis is included in Directive 64/432/EEC on animal health problems affecting intra-community trade in bovine animals, diagnostic testing with nonspecific ELISA for BoHV-1 infection in buffalo may yield false-positive reactions. This scenario could lead to economic losses and hamper buffalo trade and movement, particularly for reproduction purposes.