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Following reports of increased mortality in the small ruminant population of the Sahrawi territories, western Algeria, between January and May 2010, local veterinary authorities suspected an outbreak of peste des petits ruminants (PPR). An investigation was implemented in May 2010 and followed up in October 2010 in the Sahrawi refugee camps, Tindouf province, with the objective of confirming the circulation of the peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV). Laboratory results confirmed the presence of PPRV in 33.3% of the samples. Sequence analysis revealed that the virus belonged to Lineage IV and phylogenetic analysis indicated a close relationship (99.3%) with the PPRV isolated during the Moroccan outbreak in 2008.
Deuchande R, Murphy A, Otter A, Baigent S, Wood A, Irvine R M (2012)

Marek's disease in turkeys (letter)

Veterinary Record 171 (23), 602
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The protective immune response generated by a commercial monovalent inactivated vaccine against bluetongue virus serotype 1 (BTV1) was studied. Five sheep were vaccinated, boost-vaccinated, and then challenged against BTV1 ALG/2006. RT-PCR did not detect viremia at any time during the experiment. Except a temperature increase observed after the initial and boost vaccinations, no clinical signs or lesions were observed. A specific and protective antibody response checked by ELISA was induced after vaccination and boost vaccination. This specific antibody response was associated with a significant increase in B lymphocytes confirmed by flow cytometry, while significant increases were not observed in T lymphocyte subpopulations (CD4 +, CD8 +, and WC1 +), CD25 + regulatory cells, or CD14 + monocytes. After challenge with BTV1, the antibody response was much higher than during the boost vaccination period, and it was associated with a significant increase in B lymphocytes, CD14 + monocytes, CD25 + regulatory cells, and CD8 + cytotoxic T lymphocytes.
Dixon L K, Takamatsu H (2012)

African swine fever virus: current situation and prospects for control

Pig Journal 67, 11-17
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African swine fever virus (ASFV) causes a haemorrhagic fever in domestic pigs which results in high mortality and has a severe socio-economic impact in affected countries. The disease is endemic in many sub-Saharan countries in Africa and the virus is maintained in an ancient sylvatic cycle in Eastern and Southern Africa. The few trans-continental transmissions of ASFV that have occurred have proven difficult and costly to eradicate. Following the introduction of ASFV into Georgia in the Trans-Caucasus region in 2007, the disease spread to neighbouring countries including the Russian Federation. The risk of further global spread has increased and threatens pig farming worldwide. The stability of the virus in meat products, the presence of wildlife reservoirs and the lack of a vaccine contribute to difficulties in control.
Djebali S, Davis C A, Merkel A, Dobin A, Lassmann T, Mortazavi A, Tanzer A, Lagarde J, Lin W, Schlesinger F, Xue C, Marinov G K, Khatun J, Williams B A, Zaleski C, Rozowsky J, Roeder M, Kokocinski F, Abdelhamid R F, Alioto T, Antoshechkin I, Baer M T, Bar N S, Batut P, Bell K, Bell I, Chakrabortty S, Chen X, Chrast J, Curado J, Derrien T, Drenkow J, Dumais E, Dumais J, Duttagupta R, Falconnet E, Fastuca M, Fejes-Toth K, Ferreira P, Foissac S, Fullwood M J, Gao H, Gonzalez D, Gordon A, Gunawardena H, Howald C, Jha S, Johnson R, Kapranov P, King B, Kingswood C, Luo O J, Park E, Persaud K, Preall J B, Ribeca P, Risk B, Robyr D, Sammeth M, Schaffer L, See L-H, Shahab A, Skancke J, Suzuki A M, Takahashi H, Tilgner H, Trout D, Walters N, Wang H, Wrobel J, Yu Y, Ruan X, Hayashizaki Y, Harrow J, Gerstein M, Hubbard T, Reymond A, Antonarakis S E, Hannon G, Giddings M C, Ruan Y, Wold B, Carninci P, Guigo R, Gingeras T R (2012)

Landscape of transcription in human cells

Nature 489 (7414), 101-108


Eukaryotic cells make many types of primary and processed RNAs that are found either in specific subcellular compartments or throughout the cells. A complete catalogue of these RNAs is not yet available and their characteristic subcellular localizations are also poorly understood. Because RNA represents the direct output of the genetic information encoded by genomes and a significant proportion of a cell's regulatory capabilities are focused on its synthesis, processing, transport, modification and translation, the generation of such a catalogue is crucial for understanding genome function. Here we report evidence that three-quarters of the human genome is capable of being transcribed, as well as observations about the range and levels of expression, localization, processing fates, regulatory regions and modifications of almost all currently annotated and thousands of previously unannotated RNAs. These observations, taken together, prompt a redefinition of the concept of a gene.


The regulation and control of gene expression in response to differing environmental stimuli is crucial for successful pathogen adaptation and persistence. The regulatory gene vru of Streptococcus uberis encodes a stand-alone response regulator with similarity to the Mga of group A Streptococcus. Mga controls expression of a number of important virulence determinants. Experimental intramammary challenge of dairy cattle with a mutant of S. uberis carrying an inactivating lesion in vru showed reduced ability to colonize the mammary gland and an inability to induce clinical signs of mastitis compared with the wild-type strain. Analysis of transcriptional differences of gene expression in the mutant, determined by microarray analysis, identified a number of coding sequences with altered expression in the absence of Vru. These consisted of known and putative virulence determinants, including Lbp (Sub0145), SclB (Sub1095), PauA (Sub1785) and hasA (Sub1696).
El Harrak M, Touil N, Loutfi C, Hammouchi M, Parida S, Sebbar G, Chaffai N, Harif B, Messoudi N, Batten C, Oura C A L (2012)

A reliable and reproducible experimental challenge model for peste des petits ruminants virus

Journal of Clinical Microbiology 50 (11), 3738-3740


Experimental challenge protocols that consistently reproduce clinical signs of peste des petits ruminants in Alpine goats infected with a tissue culture-passaged peste des petits ruminants virus are described. The protocols can be used to carry out quality-controlled vaccine efficacy and pathogenesis studies under experimental conditions.


Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes play a key role in immunity to infectious pathogens. Their high level of diversity is a functionally important characteristic. In cattle our knowledge of MHC diversity and the functional distinction between genes is limited. Recent studies in commercially important dairy cattle populations reveal that MHC class I diversity is relatively low, although it does not appear to be declining. The presence and frequency of some genes and alleles was markedly different between geographically distinct populations, and trait selection was implicated as an influential force. Functional studies suggest that some alleles may have a disproportionally high impact on T cell responses, thus it may be important to consider their role in both disease resistance and vaccine efficacy. It is clear that increasing our knowledge of the functional capabilities of different cattle MHC class I genes is essential to maintain healthy populations in the future.


Epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV), an arthropod-borne orbivirus (family Reoviridae), is an emerging pathogen of wild and domestic ruminants that is closely related to bluetongue virus (BTV). The present study examines the outcome of an experimental EHDV-7 infection of Holstein cattle and East Frisian sheep. Apart from na ve animals that had not been exposed to BTV, it included animals that had been experimentally infected with either BTV-6 or BTV-8 two months earlier. In addition, EHDV-infected cattle were subsequently challenged with BTV-8. Samples were tested with commercially available ELISA and real-time RT-PCR kits and a custom NS3-specific real-time RT-PCR assay. Virus isolation was attempted in Vero, C6/36 and KC cells (from Culicoides variipennis), embryonated chicken eggs and type I interferon receptor-deficient IFNAR-I- mice. EHDV-7 productively infected Holstein cattle, but caused no clinical signs. The inoculation of East Frisian sheep, on the other hand, apparently did not lead to a productive infection. The commercial diagnostic kits performed adequately. KC cells proved to be the most sensitive means of virus isolation, but viremia was shorter than 2 weeks in most animals. No interference between EHDV and BTV infection was observed; therefore the pre-existing immunity to some BTV serotypes in Europe is not expected to protect against a possible introduction of EHDV, in spite of the close relation between the viruses.


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