Abortion and ulcerative posthitis associated with caprine herpesvirus-1 infection in goats in California

Francisco A Uzal, Leslie Woods, Michelle Stillian, Robert Nordhausen, Deryck H. Read, Hanna Van Kampen, Jenee Odani, Sharon Hietala, E. J. Hurley, Mary L. Vickers, Sharon M. Gard

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25 Scopus citations


Three outbreaks of late-gestation abortions in does and ulcerative posthitis in bucks, associated with caprine herpes virus-1 (CHV-1), in California are described. In herd A, 10 of 17 does aborted in a 7-day period, whereas in herd B, 4 of 130 does aborted in a 45-day period and in herd C, 100 of 300 does aborted in a 3-week period. Most fetuses had multifocal pinpoint depressed foci with a zone of hyperemia on external and cut surfaces of the kidneys, liver, lungs, and adrenal glands. Histologically, scattered multifocal areas of necrosis with mild neutrophilic infiltrate were observed in kidneys, brain, liver, adrenal glands, and lungs of most fetuses of the 3 herds. Large amphophilic intranuclear inclusion bodies, which displaced the chromatin, were observed in cells within and around the necrotic foci in kidneys and adrenal glands. Particles 85-113 nm in size with morphology compatible with herpes virus were observed in the nuclei of these cells when examined by electron microscopy. Irregular, shallow, red ulcers were observed in the prepuce of 1 buck from herd C. Prepuce biopsies from this animal had necrosis of the superficial mucosal epithelium and severe submucosal lymphoplasmocytic infiltrates. Large intranuclear amphophilic inclusion bodies were observed in most cells of the stratum spinosum of the preputial epithelium, but no viral particles were observed in these cells. Caprine herpes virus-1 was isolated from tissue pools of fetuses from the 3 herds but not from prepuce biopsies. Positive results were obtained when tissues of a fetus from herd C were processed by a polymerase chain reaction technique to amplify the amino terminus of the glycoprotein C gene of CHV-1. Sera from aborted does from herds B and C and from the 3 bucks from herd C had high antibody titers to CHV-1. The results presented here support the hypothesis that the male goat is involved in the transmission of CHV-1. However, other forms of transmission cannot be ruled out.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-484
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)


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