A Rabbit Model for Sheep-Associated Malignant Catarrhal Fever Research: from Virus Infection to Pathogenesis Studies and Vaccine Development
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Purpose of Review
Describe the implementation and use of rabbits as a laboratory model for sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever (SA-MCF) research using cell-free ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2). Key considerations regarding the use of the model to generate consistent experimental data are presented and discussed in detail.
A major drawback to SA-MCF research is that OvHV-2 cannot be propagated in cell culture and experimental studies rely only on animals. An important research milestone was the finding that infectious cell-free OvHV-2 from nasal secretions of shedding sheep can be used to experimentally induce SA-MCF in various host species. Using this approach, we have demonstrated that rabbits can be infected with OvHV-2 and that infection parameters, such as dose-dependence, and clinical and pathological manifestations, resemble those in natural hosts.
Rabbits are a reliable model for SA-MCF and represent an important resource for experimental research. The model is especially useful to investigate virus-host interactions and to evaluate MCF vaccine strategies.
KeywordsOvine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2) Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) Rabbits Animal model
We thank the many colleagues, staff and students, past and present, involved in the experiments performed in our laboratory and described in this review. We also thank Dr. Reginaldo Bastos for the critical review of the manuscript.
Preparation of this article and the experiments performed by the authors were supported by USDA-RS-CWU grant 2090-32000-037-00D.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Cristina W. Cunha, Donal O’Toole, Naomi S. Taus, Smriti Shringi, Donald P. Knowles, and Hong Li each declare no potential conflicts of interest.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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