Evidence of natural bluetongue virus infection among African carnivores

K. A. Alexander, Nigel J Maclachlan, P. W. Kat, C. House, S. J. O'Brien, N. W. Lerche, M. Sawyer, L. G. Frank, K. Holekamp, L. Smale, J. W. McNutt, M. K. Laurenson, M. G L Mills, Bennie Osburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


Bluetongue is an International Office of Epizootics List A disease described as the century's most economically devastating affliction of sheep. Bluetongue (BLU) viruses were thought to infect only ruminants, shrews, and some rodents, but recently, inadvertent administration of BLU virus- contaminated vaccine resulted in mortality and abortion among domestic dogs. We present evidence of natural BLU virus infection among African carnivores that dramatically widens the spectrum of susceptible hosts. We hypothesize that such infection occurred after ingestion of meat and organs from BLU virus-infected prey species. The effect of BLU virus on endangered carnivores such as the cheetah and African wild dog requires urgent investigation. Also, the role of carnivores in the epizootiology of this disease needs elucidation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)568-576
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Infectious Diseases


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