Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

New Cattle Virus Identified by Genome Sequencing

Published: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, August 15, 2013
Bookmark and Share
A new cow virus that causes neurologic symptoms reminiscent of mad cow disease has been identified and its genome sequenced by a team of researchers.

While this particular new virus is unlikely to pose a threat to human health or the food supply, the new findings are critically important because they provide researchers with a relatively simple diagnostic tool that can reassure both ranchers and consumers by ruling out bovine spongiform encephalopathy — mad cow disease — as the cause of neurologic symptoms when they appear in cattle.

Results of the study appear online in the September issue of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal, published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“Neurologic disease in cattle can be difficult to diagnose because there are a number of different causes, and pre-mortem sampling and analyses can be cumbersome and/or expensive,” said Patricia Pesavento, a veterinary pathologist in the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and corresponding author on the paper.

“Understanding the role of this virus is crucial for veterinarians as well as for the dairy and beef cattle industries,” she said. “Additionally, finding new viruses helps us identify other, more remote viruses because it builds our knowledge of both the depth and breadth of viral family trees.”

New study

In this new study, researchers analyzed brain tissue from a yearling steer with neurologic symptoms of unknown cause. Through this analysis, they discovered a new virus that belongs to the astrovirus family. Further study of brain tissue samples, preserved from earlier examinations of 32 cattle with unexplained neurologic symptoms, revealed the presence of this astrovirus in three of those animals.

The researchers used “metagenomic” techniques to sequence this astrovirus species — now referred to as BoAstV0NeuroS. This newly identified virus becomes the third separate astrovirus species detected in brain tissues, and each of these is associated with neurologic disease. Tissue analysis and distribution studies suggest that the cow virus is most likely to be found in the spinal cord and causes a uniquely patterned tissue abnormality, thus enabling diagnosticians to quickly eliminate mad cow disease as the cause of neurologic symptoms.

“Further research is needed to determine the viral origin and progression, like whether development of neurologic symptoms from this astrovirus requires other factors such as a co-infection by some other microbe or a weakened immune system,” Pesavento said. “Further testing may also provide information about how often and for how long the animal sheds the virus.”

Pesavento’s laboratory also recently identified a new virus from the circovirus family that caused a fatal hemorrhagic disease in multiple dogs. Findings of that study were published in the April issue of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,600+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Industry-Sponsored Academic Inventions Spur Increased Innovation
Analysis questions assumption that corporate support skews science toward inventions that are less useful than those funded by the government or non-profit organizations.
Monday, March 24, 2014
International Fruit Pest Targeted by Genomic Research
The spotted wing drosophila is itself being targeted, thanks to groundbreaking genome sequencing.
Friday, December 06, 2013
DNA Sequencing Lifts Veil on Wine’s Microbial Terroir
It’s widely accepted that terroir — the unique blend of a vineyard’s soils, water and climate — sculpts the flavor and quality of wine.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Grapevine Virus Screening Saves Napa-Sonoma $60M
Providing disease-free grapevines and rootstock to California’s famed North Coast wine region is money-wise to the tune of more than $60 million annually.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
More Accurate Model of Climate Change’s Effect on Soil
Scientists have developed a new computer model to measure global warming's effect in soil worldwide that accounts for how bacteria and fungi in soil control carbon.
Friday, August 02, 2013
Predicting how Insects, Plants Interact
Butterfly and moth larvae feeding on native plants will extend their diet to newly introduced non-native plants, but which ones?
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Gene Discovery May Halt Disease that Threatens Wheat
Researchers have identified a gene that enables resistance to a new race, or strain, of stem rust, a disease threatening global food security.
Monday, July 01, 2013
Reforms Could Boost Use of Land Conservation Banks
California legislators have enacted the state's first conservation banking law, based on a pioneering program launched 18 years ago.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Genome of Lotus May Hold Anti-Aging Secrets
The "sacred lotus" is believed to have a powerful genetic system that repairs genetic defects.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Scientists Find Compounds that Boost Oil Output of Algae
Chemists have found several compounds that can boost oil production by green microscopic algae, a potential source of biodiesel and other "green" fuels.
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Conference Sets Agenda for Climate-smart Ag Research
An action-oriented scientific agenda for tackling global climate change and its impacts on agriculture emerged from the international, three-day Climate-Smart Agriculture Conference.
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Study Reveals Genetic Diversity of Genes in Peppers
Researchers have developed a “family tree” of sorts for peppers and characterized the diversity of genes found in a collection of common cultivated pepper varieties.
Monday, February 18, 2013
Farmers and Environment Profit from New Website
University of California Cooperative Extension is rolling out a new website for farmers that will help them save money and protect the environment.
Friday, February 01, 2013
Beyond Manifesto: How to Change the Food System
Mark Bittman used the occasion of New Year’s Day to throw down the gauntlet for real and permanent change to the U.S. agricultural system.
Friday, January 11, 2013
Engineered Bacteria Make Fuel from Sunlight
Chemists have engineered blue-green algae to grow chemical precursors for fuels and plastics — the first step in replacing fossil fuels as raw materials for the chemical industry.
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
Scientific News
Ancestors of Land Plants Were Wired to Make the Leap to Shore
When the algal ancestor of modern land plants made the transition from aquatic environments to an inhospitable shore 450 million years ago, it changed the world by dramatically altering climate and setting the stage for the vast array of terrestrial life.
Photosynthesis Gene Could Help Crops Grow in Adverse Conditions
A gene that helps plants to remain healthy during times of stress has been identified by researchers at Oxford University.
Pancreatic Cancer Stem Cells Could be "Suffocated" by Anti-diabetic Drug
A new study shows that pancreatic cancer stem cells (PancSCs) are virtually addicted to oxygen-based metabolism, and could be “suffocated” with a drug already used to treat diabetes.
Scientists Learn How to Predict Plant Size
VIB and UGent scientists have developed a new method which allows them to predict the final size of a plant while it is still a seedling.
Scientists Home In On Origin Of Human, Chimpanzee Facial Differences
A study of species-specific regulation of gene expression in chimps and humans has identified regions important in human facial development and variation.
Nanoporous Gold Sponge Makes Pathogen Detector
Sponge-like nanoporous gold could be key to new devices to detect disease-causing agents in humans and plants, according to UC Davis researchers.
Genetic Manipulation for Algal Biofuel Production
Studies of the genes involved in oil synthesis in microalgae allow scientists to use a gene promoter to increase algal production of triacylglycerols, which in turn enhances potential biofuel yields.
Phosphorous Fertilizer
UD researchers identify behaviors of nanoparticle that shows promise as nanofertilizer.
Marijuana Genome Unraveled
A study by Canadian researchers is providing a clearer picture of the evolutionary history and genetic organization of cannabis, a step that could have agricultural, medical and legal implications for this valuable crop.
Grape Waste Could Make Competitive Biofuel
The solid waste left over from wine-making could make a competitive biofuel, University of Adelaide researchers have found.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,600+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos