GOALS FOR THE VIROLOGY LECTURES Each lecture attempts to answer the following questions. What are the general characteristics of this virus family? What are some of the important viruses in this family? What type of disease do the viruses cause? Which animals does the virus infect?
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where should you be looking out for these diseases?
foot and mouth disease virus
equine arterivirus, PRRSV
equine encephalitis viruses
The family consists of several viruses of veterinary
importance including vesicular exanthema virus of
swine, feline calicivirus, rabbit hemorrhagic disease
virus, and European brown hare syndrome.
Caliciviruses cause systemic diseases and
gastroenteritis but some cause vesicular diseases.
but rapidly inactivated by acidity (99%
inactivation at pH = 3)
3-D Structure of Calicivirus Capsid
Negative EM stain
Lagovirus – 2 genotypes
Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus
European brown hare syndrome
Unnamed genus - SRSV group 2 viruses
Several swine caliciviruses
many non-cross-protective serotypes resulting in
and failure to thrive.
snout showing ruptured
tongue showing ulcerative
USA Policy that led to eradication
Slaughter of all affected animals because of fear of FMD.
Garbage feed to pigs was cooked.
No vaccination was attempted.
transmitted to susceptible cats by human handlers.
months - persistent infection occurs in most animals,
resulting in carriers.
natural infections have only been reported in domestic
cats and cheetahs.
and inactivated vaccines are widely used.
Genus - Lagovirus
Is a highly infectious disease of European rabbits first
identified in China in 1984
It killed 470, 000 rabbits in the first 6 months in 1985
and rapidly spread throughout China
clots in blood vessels indicative of disseminated
within 6 to 24 hours.
discharges nervous signs.
Epidemiology and Control
Inactivated homogenate vaccine available – with
Recent DNA vaccine developed but not available
19 August 2002 MINISTER KEMP'S ANSWERS ON RABBIT DISEASE FAIL TO SETTLE FRIGHTENING QUESTIONS
Federal Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp, has side-stepped several Questions on Notice posed by Senator Bob Brown about proposals to further spread the deadly haemorrhagic Rabbit Calicivirus Disease (RCD) in Australia.
Animals Australia received copies of Dr Kemp's answers to 3 of the 4 questions, but the Minister has failed to give any assurance that a new bait delivery system for the disease is safe.
After its mysterious first appearance in China in 1984, and its unexplained escape from Wardang Island (South Australia) in 1995, RCD was deliberately released by Governments across Australia in 1996 in the hope of reducing the wild rabbit population. The National Registration Authority is now considering a proposal to further spread the disease in Australia by placing the live virus on food baits.
The Minister was asked if he is aware of a recent study that showed that pigs inoculated with the virus became sick. Senator Brown also asked the Minister to give a cast iron assurance that the disease will never spread to Australian pigs, or to any other species, including humans. Dr Kemp side-stepped this question - merely saying all decisions are based on a risk analysis.
Executive Director of Animals Australia, Glenys Oogjes, said, "We are not surprised that the Minister is unable to give that assurance. The only scientists who have ever claimed that this virus - RCD - is safe for other species are those with a vested interest in covering up the risks - and even they have never said it will not cross species, only that cross-species infection is 'unlikely'. The new proposal for the disease to be put in baits (rather than injected into rabbits) will make it even more available to a broader range of animals. It is madness!"
In 1996 Environment Australia (EA) gave the original proposal to release RCD infected rabbits into wild rabbit populations the thumbs up. A recent assessment report by EA of the current proposal to use virus baits has (again) concluded that the chances of cross-species infection are minimal.