Over a 3.5-year period, 4 Rocky Mountain goats (Oreamnos americanus), housed at a single facility, developed clinical disease attributed to infection by Caprine arthritis encephalitis virus (CAEV). Ages ranged from 1 to 10 years. Three of the goats, a 1-year-old female, a 2-year-old male, and a 5-year-old male, had been fed raw domestic goat milk from a single source that was later found to have CAEV on the premises. The fourth animal, a 10-year-old male, had not ingested domestic goat milk but had been housed with the other 3 Rocky Mountain goats. All 4 animals had clinical signs of pneumonia prior to death. At necropsy, findings in lungs included marked diffuse interstitial pneumonia characterized histologically by severe lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates with massive alveolar proteinosis, interstitial fibrosis, and type II pneumocyte hyperplasia. One animal also developed left-sided hemiparesis, and locally extensive lymphoplasmacytic myeloencephalitis was present in the cranial cervical spinal cord. Two animals had joint effusions, as well as severe lymphoplasmacytic and ulcerative synovitis. Immunohistochemical staining of fixed sections of lung tissue from all 4 goats, as well as spinal cord in 1 affected animal, and synovium from 2 affected animals were positive for CAEV antigen. Serology testing for anti-CAEV antibodies was positive in the 2 goats tested. The cases suggest that Rocky Mountain goats are susceptible to naturally occurring CAEV infection, that CAEV from domestic goats can be transmitted to this species through infected milk and by horizontal transmission, and that viral infection can result in clinically severe multisystemic disease.
- Caprine arthritis encephalitis virus
- interstitial pneumonia
- Rocky Mountain goats
- viral disease
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