Detection of antibodies to Visna/Maedi in sheep from Recôncavo Baiano

  • Iracema Nunes de Barros
  • Nairléia dos Santos Silva
  • Maria das Graças Avila Ribeiro Almeida
  • Antonio Vicente Magnavita Anunciação
  • Sonia da Silva Laborda
  • Elizabeth Juvêncio Ramalho
  • Eugênia Márcia de Deus Oliveira


The Visna/Maedi virus is a Lentivirus that causes a multisystem, progressive, slow-developing disease that can affect sheep and goats. After long periods of subclinical infection, the disease can slowly progress to cause the degeneration of various organs, cachexia and death. The diagnosis is made by the observation of clinical signs and confirmed by serological tests and isolation and/or identification of the virus. There is no treatment for the disease. The control is based on segregated breeding, handling and slaughtering of the positives. As Visna/Maedi is on the list of the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), reporting of the disease is obligatory and it has been found in some States in Brazil, causing negative economic impacts with its spread. Given the limited seroepidemiological data available in the Brazilian State of Bahia, this study aimed to carry out a seroepidemiological survey to investigate the occurrence of anti-Visna/Maedi virus antibodies in sheep from Recôncavo Baiano. Two hundred serum samples from sheep were subjected to the agar gel immunodiffusion test (AGID). None of the serum samples were found to be positive. To confirm the absence of Visna/Maedi in sheep herds in Bahia, there is a need for further studies with significant sampling including a more sensitive assay.


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