Venereal shedding of ovine lentivirus in infected rams.Am J Vet Res. 1996 May; 57(5):684-8.AJ
To assess shedding of ovine lentivirus (OvLV) in semen of infected rams with or without epididymitis.
Rams 1 and 2 were naturally infected with OvLV. Rams 3-6 were inoculated with OvLV strain 85/ 34. Ram 7 was inoculated with uninfected cell culture supernatant (OvLV-negative control). 14 weeks after OvLV inoculation, rams 1-3, 6, and 7 were inoculated with Brucella ovis into the epididymis. Ram 4 was a natural case of B ovis epididymitis, and ram 5 was left noninoculated (B ovis-negative control). Blood mononuclear cells (BMNC) and semen were collected between 0 and 44 weeks after OvLV inoculation.
Seven 2- to 3-year-old rams.
Infective OvLV in BMNC and semen was determined by virus isolation and subsequent OvLV-DNA amplification by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Bronchoalveolar lavage cells collected after death were used for DNA extraction and PCR amplification.
OvLV was detected in the semen of rams 3 and 6, but only after B ovis inoculation. OvLV was isolated consistently from BMNC of rams 3 and 6, but only occasionally from rams 1, 2, 4, and 5. Leukocytospermia was evident in every ejaculate of all B ovis-infected rams after infection. Semiquantitative PCR determination of OvLV DNA from bronchoalveolar lavage cells revealed the highest OvLV DNA load in rams 3 and 6.
Leukocytospermia and a high virus load in infected animals are important factors that determine shedding of OvLV in semen.
Dissemination of OvLV through contaminated semen could have important implications in the epidemiology and control of this infection.