Bluetongue and equine viral arteritis viruses as models of virus-induced fetal injury and abortion

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80 Scopus citations


A number of viruses have the capacity to cross the placenta and infect the fetus to cause, among other potential outcomes, developmental defects (teratogenesis), fetal death and abortion. Bluetongue virus (BTV) infection of fetal ruminants provides an excellent model for the study of virus-induced teratogenesis. This model has shown that only viruses modified by passage in cell culture, such as modified live virus vaccine strains, readily cross the ruminant placenta, and that the timing of fetal infection determines the outcome. Thus, cerebral malformations only occur after fetal infection at critical stages during development and the precise timing of fetal BTV infection determines the severity of the malformation present at birth. Fetal BTV infection also can result in fetal death, followed by abortion or resorption, growth retardation, or no obvious abnormalities, depending on age of the conceptus at infection. Equine arteritis virus (EAV) infection of the equine fetus causes fetal death and abortion but not teratogenesis. These two fetal viral infections are useful not only for the study of teratogenesis and fetal disease, but also to further characterize and compare the complex process that is responsible for normal induction of parturition in ruminants and horses. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)643-651
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Reproduction Science
StatePublished - Jul 2 2000


  • Abortion
  • Bluetongue
  • Equine viral arteritis
  • Teratogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Biotechnology
  • Genetics


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