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Bovine leukemia virus: current perspectives

Authors Juliarena MA, Barrios CN, Lützelschwab CM, Esteban EN, Gutiérrez SE

Received 17 April 2017

Accepted for publication 15 July 2017

Published 10 August 2017 Volume 2017:9 Pages 13—26

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/VAAT.S113947

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Akshita Wason

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Jonathan Dinman

Marcela Alicia Juliarena,1 Clarisa Natalia Barrios,1 Claudia María Lützelschwab,1 Eduardo Néstor Esteban,2 Silvina Elena Gutiérrez1

1Department of Animal Health and Preventive Medicine, Veterinary Research Center of Tandil (CIVETAN), CIC-CONICET, Faculty of Veterinary Science, National University of the Center of Buenos Aires Province, Tandil, Argentina; 2BIOALPINA Program (GENIAL/COTANA), Colonia Alpina, Argentina

Abstract: Enzootic bovine leukosis, caused by bovine leukemia virus (BLV), is the most common neoplasm of dairy cattle. Although beef and dairy cattle are susceptible to BLV infection and BLV-associated lymphosarcoma, the disease is more commonly detected in dairy herds, mostly because of the management practices in dairy farms. The pathogenicity of BLV in its natural host, the bovine, depends mainly on the resistance/susceptibility genetics of the animal. The majority of infected cattle are asymptomatic, promoting the extremely high dissemination rate of BLV in many bovine populations. The important productive losses caused by the BLV, added to the health risk of maintaining populations with a high prevalence of infection with a retrovirus, generates the need to implement control measures. Different strategies to control the virus have been attempted. The most effective approach is to identify and cull the totality of infected cattle in the herd. However, this approach is not suitable for herds with high prevalence of infection. At present, no treatment or vaccine has proven effective for the control of BLV. Thus far, the genetic selection of resistant animals emerges as a natural strategy for the containment of the BLV dissemination. In natural conditions, most of the infected, resistant cattle can control the infection, and therefore do not pass the virus to other animals, gradually decreasing the prevalence of the herd.

Keywords: bovine leukemia virus, control, genetic resistance, BoLA-DRB3

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