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Indirect contract: a possible dissemination route of Caprine arthritis encephalitis among goat kids

Asmare, A., K. E. Washburn, T. Saliki, A. L. Goetsch, L. J. Dawson, R. C. Merkel, and T. Sahlu

Journal of Animal Science 85(Supplement 1):251-252. 2007

Twenty Alpine goat kids were randomly assigned to four groups each consisting of five animals. The kids were removed from their dams at birth and penned individually. Kids in all groups were fed colostrum during the first 48 h after birth. Group 1 was fed caprine arthritis encephalitis virus (CAEV)-free colostrum, Group 2 received CAEV-positive colostrum, Group 3 consumed CAEV-positive colostrum subjected to conventional heat treatment, and Group 4 was given CAEV-positive colostrum treated with methylene blue and fluorescent light. Thereafter, all kids were fed pasteurized goat milk until weaning. No CAEV specific antibodies were detected in serum of any kids collected prior to colostrum consumption. Despite efforts to avoid vertical transmission of the virus among kids, three goat kids (60%) of Group 1 showed seroconversion at the age of 48 h and the remaining two kids (40%) displayed seroconversion at 2 months of age. All animals in Groups 2, 3, and 4 had seroconverted at the age of 48 h. Presence of CAEV was confirmed in 17 of the kids (85%) by polymerase chain reaction at the ages of 1.5 months. The early appearance of CAEV specific antibodies was probably caused by consumption of antibody-containing colostrum and maintenance of maternal antibodies. Results of this study suggest that factors other than direct contact of kids with their dams and ingestion of infected colostrum and milk could be means of CAEV transmission. Therefore, the risk of indirect contact in the dissemination of CAEV should be taken into account in control and eradication programs.


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