Cell culture adapted bluetongue virus in dogs

Wilbur, Linn
Major Professor
Ricardo F. Rosenbusch
Committee Member
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Veterinary Microbiology and Preventive Medicine

Bluetongue virus (BTV) was isolated as a contaminate from a modified live canine vaccine following the report of abortion and death of pregnant bitches receiving the vaccine. The BTV was characterized as a serotype 11, endemic for the U.S. This was the first report associating BTV with disease in dogs. Subsequent to these finding the contaminated vaccine was recalled by the manufacturer;In experimental studies a cell culture adapted BTV isolated from the vaccine and the contaminated vaccine caused death, abortion, or abortion and death in pregnant bitches, but no acute clinical signs in non pregnant dogs of various ages. Viremia was evident from days I through 9 in the pregnant bitches, but not detectable after day 9. This is in contrast to the longer term viremia noted in cattle and sheep. Bluetongue virus was reisolated from various tissues of the bitches and from non pregnant dogs at 10 days post challenge but not from non pregnant dogs at 20 or more days post challenge or consistently from aborted fetuses. Seroconversion was evident in a proportion of the non pregnant dogs, with older dogs being more consistently positive;Washed red blood cells taken from aborting bitches and administered to sheep was infective and caused clinical disease and seroconversion. When administered to pregnant bitches the red blood cells caused death or abortion and death. This raises the possibility that pregnant dogs could have served as a viral infection source for the Culicoides spp. vector;Cell culture adapted BTV was shown to cause abortion and death in pregnant bitches but not to cause acute clinical disease in non pregnant dogs. Seroconversion of dogs receiving the contaminated vaccine in the U.S. dog population during normal vaccination procedures would be an expected finding. The studies confirm the importance for continued testing for extraneous viral agents to assure the safety and purity of veterinary vaccines.