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Institute of Diagnostic Virology (IVD)

National Reference Laboratories for Maedi/Visna (MV) and Caprine Arthritis/Encephalitis (CAE)

The Maedi-Visna virus (MVV) and Caprine Arthritis-Encephalitis virus (CAEV) belong to the genus ‘Lentivirus’ within the family ‘Retroviridae’. The terms Maedi and Visna are derived from Icelandic (Maedi: dyspnoea; Visna: fatigue) and describe the two main forms of the Maedi-Visna (MV) disease caused by the virus. Caprine Arthritis-Encephalitis (CAE) is a disease of goats caused by the CAEV virus. Depending on their age, affected animals show encephalitis, arthritis and mastitis. MVV and CAEV are characterized by long incubation periods and a chronic-progressive course of disease. CAEV of goats and MVV of sheep are closely related. The two viruses have a common group antigen.

  • Detection of CAE- and MV-specific antibodies by means of different ELISAs
  • Isolation and detection of nucleic acids by means of RT-PCR, nested PCR, real time PCR
  • Detection of antibodies by means of ELISA, immunofluorescence, Western blot, FACS
  • Flow cytometry, cell-sorting by means of MoFlo
  • Cell culture
  • Molecular biological methods for cloning and expression of proteins  
  • Sheep and goat sera with MV- or CAE-specific antibodies

NRL for Maedi-Visna:

  • Regulation on reportable animal diseases of December 20, 2005, last modified on April 6, 2009
  • OIE listed disease

NRL for CAE:

  • OIE listed disease