Experimentally induced ovine border disease: extensive hypomyelination with minimal viral antigen in neonatal spinal cord.

C. A. Anderson, M. Sawyer, Robert Higgins, Nancy East, Bennie Osburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Border disease (BD) was experimentally induced in 9 lambs by inoculation of their dams with the BD-31 strain of border disease virus (BDV) at 50 days of gestation. These ewes developed serum-neutralizing antibody titers to BDV. The diagnosis of BD in their lambs was confirmed by hairy birthcoats, intrauterine growth retardation, tremors, and hypomyelination. Three clinically healthy age-matched control lambs, whose dams had been given an inoculum containing only BDV-free cell culture supernatant, were studied in parallel. There were significant differences in birth weights and in the lengths of the right tibiae and radii between the affected and the control lambs. There was a gradient in severity of clinical neurologic signs among the affected lambs, which directly correlated with the severity of hypomyelination in their spinal cords. However, the difference in severity of the neurologic deficits did not correlate with differences either in the precolostral serum-neutralizing antibody titers to BDV in these lambs or in the number of BDV antigen-containing cells in their spinal cords. Only approximately 0.01% to 0.3% of spinal cord cells, both in gray matter and white matter, were BDV antigen positive in the affected lambs. These results indicate that extensive infection of CNS cells with their subsequent destruction or functional alteration may not be a critical part of the pathogenesis of the hypomyelination in BD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)499-503
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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