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Research article1996Peer reviewed

A long term study of goats naturally infected with caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus

Hanson, J; Hydbring, E; Olsson, K


The caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) is a big problem in dairy goat industry. Little is known about its characteristics in naturally infected goat herds. The aims of this study were: 1) to study how antibody expression, measured by agar gel immunodiffusion test (AGIDT), varied over time in naturally infected seropositive goats, 2) to observe clinical signs in seropositive adult goats and 3) to follow seroconversion and gamma globulin concentration in goat kids artificially reared on cow milk replacement product only, compared to kids reared on untreated goat milk.The antibody expression pattern to the viral proteins gp135 and p28 varied in the individual goat and intermittent negative reactions were seen in 19 adult animals followed for 30-91 weeks. Four seropositive goats developed clinical symptoms with difficulties to move. However, no correlation between clinical signs and antibody expression pattern was seen. During the first 27 weeks of age no kid in the milk replacement reared group (N=4) seroconverted, but 5 of the 7 kids fed goat milk occasionally showed a positive antibody reaction. The gamma globulin concentration was significantly higher in the goat milk fed group until the kids had become more than 19 weeks old.The results show that a great variation of the antibody pattern in individual goats occur, and there-fore the AGIDT is only reliable as a herd screening test. Frequent sampling is necessary to get reliable information about spreading of the CAEV in a naturally infected goat herd. Removing kids from their dams immediately after birth combined with segregation and artificial rearing protected them from CAEV infection. However their gamma globulin concentration was initially low.


retrovirus; gamma globulin; seroconversion; lentivirus; artificial rearing

Published in

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
1996, Volume: 37, number: 1, pages: 31-39

      SLU Authors

    • Sandberg, Eva

      • Department of Animal Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
      • Olsson, Kerstin

        • Department of Animal Physiology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

      UKÄ Subject classification

      Medical Bioscience

      Permanent link to this page (URI)