avian & livestock assay data sheet
- Ultrasensitive qualitative detection of Borna virus by
reverse transcription coupled real time polymerase chain reaction
Borna disease virus (BDV) is an enveloped nonsegmented
negative-strand RNA virus with a genome size of about 9 kb. The
virus is of member of the
Mononegavirales order. The
(eg Marburg and Ebola viruses),
mumps, measles virus), and
rabies, vesicular stomatitis virus).
This viral disease was first described more than 200 years ago
in a small town named Borna in Saxony in southern Germany. It is
a fatal neurologic disease of horses and sheep. A large number
of horses died during an epidemic in 1885. Although outbreaks of
Borna disease are rare, serological survey has indicated that
many horses in various geographic regions have been exposed to
the virus. This suggests that natural infection of horses with
this virus may be subclinical.
Although horses are the natural host of the virus, other
equidae, sheep, cattle, rabbits, goats, deer, alpacas, llamas,
cats, pygmy hippopotamus and sloths can be infected
with BDV. The virus is transmitted by direct contact with
saliva, nasal discharge or conjunctival secretions of infected
animals. Direct exposure
to contaminated food or water can also be a source of infection.
Infected horses or sheep usually take about 4 weeks to show
signs of infection, but the signs are non-specific. These signs
include hyperthermia, anorexia, colic, and constipation in the
initial phase of the disease. During the acute phase, neurologic
signs such as ataxia, depression, circular movement, standing in
awkward positions, collapsing, running into obstacles, and
paralysis, may develop. Clinical symptoms last 1 to 3 weeks, and
death rates for diseased horses are 80% to 100%.
Diagnosis of Borna disease can be by serological methods or by
molecular methods such as polymerase chain reaction. PCR is rapid, sensitive and specific (Wensman et al.,
2012), and does not require infected animals to develop full
immune responses. Thus, PCR is especially suitable for early
detection of the virus.
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Identify Borna virus carriers
Help ensure that animal herds and populations are free of
Early prevention of spread of this virus among animals
Minimize human exposure to this virus
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive from
Wensman, J.J., Jäderlund, K.H., Gustavsson, M.H.,
Hansson-Hamlin, H., Karlstam, E., Lilliehöök, I., Oström, I.L.,
Belák, S., Berg, M. and Holst, B.S. (2012) Markers of Borna
disease virus infection in cats with staggering disease. J.
Feline Med. Surg. 14:573-582.
Specimen requirements: 0.2 ml whole blood
in EDTA (purple top) tube, or 0.2 ml feces,
or oral swabs, or
nasal swabs, or 0.2 ml fresh or
Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
For all specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or
during very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped
and ship with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping
requirements are specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped
so as to remain frozen in transit. See
shipping instructions for
Turnaround time: 2 business days
Methodology: Qualitative reverse
transcription coupled real time PCR
Normal range: Nondetected
Borna virus PCR test