Proviral detection and serology in bovine leukemia virus-exposed normal cattle and cattle with lymphoma.

R. M. Jacobs, Z. Song, H. Poon, J. L. Heeney, J. A. Taylor, B. Jefferson, William Vernau, V. E. Valli

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48 Scopus citations


Twenty-seven cattle with lymphoma and 46 cows from a known bovine leukemia virus (BLV)-infected herd were tested for anti-BLV antibody by the agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) test and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Southern hybridization were used to detect BLV provirus in the tumor DNA of the 27 cattle with lymphoma. The PCR was used to detect BLV provirus in the peripheral blood mononuclear cell DNA of the 46 normal known-exposed cattle. Two presumed false negative AGID test results compared to ELISA were found. Of ten cattle three years of age or less with "sporadic" forms of lymphoma, four had BLV provirus in tumor DNA, detectable by PCR. In two of these four, BLV provirus was clonally integrated based on digestion of tumor DNA with restriction enzymes followed by Southern hybridization. The BLV provirus was not detected by PCR in 5 of 17 cattle with "enzootic" lymphoma and two of these five were seronegative. Among normal BLV-exposed cows, 6.5% (3 of 46) were serologically positive and PCR negative; serologically negative and PCR positive cows occurred with the same frequency. Serological and PCR test results, when considered in all cattle (n = 73), had a concordance rate of 83.6%. Discordant test results occurred with approximately equal frequency between serologically positive and PCR negative (7 of 73, 9.6%) and serologically negative and PCR positive (5 of 73, 6.8%) groups. These data suggest that the role of BLV in some "sporadic" bovine lymphomas, previously unassociated with BLV, should be reexamined. The BLV provirus was not demonstrable in the tumor DNA from five adult cattle with lymphoma, suggesting that BLV may not be the etiological agent in all adult bovine lymphomas. The findings of persistently seronegative PCR positive and seropositive PCR negative cattle indicate that further work is needed to more fully understand the host-virus interaction. Present serological screening methods may not have sufficient sensitivity for determining BLV status in some circumstances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)339-348
Number of pages10
JournalCanadian journal of veterinary research = Revue canadienne de recherche veterinaire
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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