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Book chapter2023Peer reviewed

Bornavirus Infection

Johansson Wensman, Jonas; Berg, Mikael; Hultin Jäderlund, Karin


• First Described: Staggering disease was first described in the 1970s in Sweden (Kronevi et al., 1974). It was linked to BoDV infection in 1995 in Sweden (Lundgren et al., 1995)

• Causes: Borna disease virus (BoDV) (species Mammalian 1 orthobornavirus), family Bornaviridae.

• Affected Hosts: Mammalian 1 orthobornavirus mainly affects horses and sheep, but also cats, dogs, other equids, and ungulates.

• Geographic Distribution: Europe (endemic in horses and sheep in Central Europe; in cats mainly reported in Sweden), worldwide serologic evidence of exposure in various species.

• Primary Mode of Transmission: Not entirely known. Reservoirs (small mammals) have been suggested.

• Major Clinical Signs: Gait disturbances and behavioral changes.

• Differential Diagnoses: Other feline encephalitides and neoplastic diseases affecting the CNS.

• Human Health Significance: A variant bornavirus (Mammalian 2 orthobornavirus) has been associated with three cases of fatal encephalitis in breeders of variegated squirrels. Also, at least eight cases of BoDV-1 in humans have been described further emphasizing the zoonotic potential for BoDV-1, especially in endemic regions. Suggested association of BoDV and neuropsychiatric disorders in humans is however still highly controversial.

Published in

Title: Greene's Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat : Fifth Edition
ISBN: 978-0-323-50934-3
Publisher: Elsevier