Molecular Evidence of Schmallenberg Virus Associated by Ovine Abortion with Fetal Anomalies in Nineveh Province, Iraq
Iraqi Journal of Veterinary Sciences,
In late of 2011, Schmallenberg virus (SBV) was observed in Germany using genomic analysis. The virus is transmitted through haematophagus insect vectors and vertically from females to their offspring across the placenta. In adult sheep, the virus causes a short viremia followed by lethargy, abortion, and dystocia when giving birth to malformed lambs. RT-PCR for virus detection and commercial ELISAs for antibody detection were rapidly developed. There have been no previous studies to detect SBV in sheep in Nineveh province. Thus, this study was therefore intended to investigate the presence of SBV in ovine aborted fetuses and to describe the macroscopic lesions that associated with it. Fifteen aborted lambs, aged between 70 to 135 days, between October 2021 and January 2022 were collected. Brain stem, spinal cord, spleen, liver, lung, and abdominal fluid were collected and stored at -20ᵒC for molecular analysis. Viral RNA was extracted from these collected samples and reverse transcription was performed in one step. RT-PCR was applied to amplify the SBV gene (S segment). Three of fifteen lambs showed marked malformations in vertebral column, arthrogryposis, hydranencephaly, cerebral and cerebellar hypoplasia and porencephaly. SBV was detected in malformed aborted lambs by RT-PCR with 474bp product size. These findings indicate that SBV causing abortion with malformations. Further studies on this topic should be conducted and include isolation and characterization of virus and SBV epidemiology.
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