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Abstract

Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is an often lethal infection of many species in the order Artiodactyla. It is caused by members of the MCF virus group within Gammaherpesvirinae. MCF is a worldwide problem and has a significant economic impact on highly disease-susceptible hosts, such as cattle, bison, and deer. Several epidemiologic forms of MCF, defined by the reservoir ruminant species from which the causative virus arises, are recognized. Wildebeest-associated MCF (WA-MCF) and sheep-associated MCF (SA-MCF) are the most prevalent and well-studied forms of the disease. Historical understanding of MCF is largely based on WA-MCF, in which the causative virus can be propagated in vitro. Characterization of SA-MCF has been constrained because the causative agent has never been successfully propagated in vitro. Development of molecular tools has enabled more definitive studies on SA-MCF. The current understanding of MCF, including its etiological agents, epidemiology, pathogenesis, and prevention, is the subject of the present review.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-animal-022513-114156
2014-02-15
2024-06-17
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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