Natural bovine lentiviral type 1 infection in Holstein dairy cattle. I. Clinical, serological, and pathological observations

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Clinical, serological, and pathological abnormalities observed in Holstein cows naturally infected with bovine lentivirus 1 bovine immunodeficiency virus (BIV) and other infections were progressive and most commonly associated with weight loss, lymphoid system deficiency, and behavioral changes. Clinical evidence of meningoencephalitis was dullness, stupor, and occasional head or nose pressing postures. The polymerase chain reactions associated the BIV provirus with the lesions in the central nervous system and lymphoid tissues. Multiple concurrent infections developed in retrovirally infected cows undergoing normal stresses associated with parturition and lactation. A major functional correlate of the lymphoreticular alterations was the development of multiple secondary infections which failed to resolve after appropriate antibacterial therapy. The chronic disease syndrome in dairy cows associated with BIV may be useful as a model system for investigation of the pathogenesis of the nervous system lesions and lymphoid organ changes that occur in humans with lentiviral infection. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Comparative Immunology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

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