Ohio ADDL October Update


Ohio Department of Agriculture   -  OCTOBER 2015

In this issue

Seneca Valley Virus (SVV) detected in Ohio

Helcococcus ovis

Polioencephalomalacia (PEM)

Virology Update (PRRS)

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First Report: Seneca Valley Virus detected in Ohio

Ohio's first case of Seneca Valley Virus (SVV) has been confirmed this month.  A pig with vesicular lesions on its snout was identified and samples were immediately collected and sent to ADDL and Plum Island Animal Disease Center in Greenport, New York to rule out foreign animal diseases (FADs), including foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).  The samples were FMD-negative but ADDL detected SVV nucleic acid present in the vesicular and swab samples.  Partial genome sequencing of the VP3 and VP1 structural and 3D nonstructural proteins indicate 99% nucleotide identity with recent SVV strains from the midwestern United States.


ADDL recently developed a RT-PCR that detects two targets within the SVV genome.  The test is performed Monday-Friday with an anticipated turnaround time of 1-2 days.  Fresh nasal or fecal swabs, serum and feces are acceptable sample types.  The cost of the test is $30.00.  For more information, contact the ADDL at 614-728-6220 or animal@agri.ohio.gov.


Any swine having vesicular lesions on its snout, around its coronary bands, or in both areas are suspects for FADs such as FMD until determined otherwise by USDA APHIS Veterinary Services diagnostic testing.  During this SVV outbreak, it is important for producers and veterinarians to continue reporting of pigs with vesicular lesions to ensure rapid detection of potential foreign animal diseases, safeguard our agriculture, and protect the health, quality, public confidence, and marketability of our nation’s livestock and products.

Vesicular disease associated with the presence of SVV
Vesicular disease associated with the presence of SVV. (a) Intact vesicle on the snout of an infected sow. (b) Erosive lesion bordering the coronary band in the left rear hoof of an affected sow. (Vannucci FA, Linhares DCL, Barcellos DESN et al. 2015. Identification and Complete Genome Sequence of Seneca Valley Virus in Vesicular Fluid and Sera of Pigs Affected with Idiopathic Vesicular Disease, Brazil. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases, 2015 Sept 7. PMID: 26347296.)


Bovine abortions caused by Helcococcus ovis

A Holstein fetus aborted at 115 days in gestation along with a placenta was submitted to ADDL. This was the fourth abortion in the herd over an 8-month period. A moderate to heavy pure growth of Helcococcus ovis was obtained from the placenta as well as from the lung and stomach contents of the fetus. Microscopic examination of the allantochorion revealed severe necrosuppurative placentitis with thrombosis, vasculitis and intralesional cocci.  Lesions in fetal tissues included moderate suppurative bronchopneumonia with intralesional cocci, mild lymphohistiocytic myocarditis, mild lymphocytic interstitial nephritis and also moderate neutrophilic rumenitis. Other tests performed failed to detect additional pathogenic agents. Based on lesions in multiple tissues, recovery of pure growth of H. ovis from two of those tissues as well as from fetal stomach contents, and the exclusion of other pathogens, a diagnosis of bacterial abortion associated with Helcococcus ovis was made.


Helcococcus ovis is a Gram-positive, facultative anaerobic coccus. It was originally isolated in 1999 from sheep. It is now considered to be an emerging veterinary pathogen and has been reported as the causative agent of bovine valvular endocarditis and metritis, pulmonary abscesses in a horse, a goat and pleuritis and bronchopneumonia in sheep. H. ovis was also isolated recently in the United Kingdom from the stomach contents of an aborted bovine fetus, suggesting this agent as a potential causal pathogen for the abortion. However, pathology from the aborted fetus or placenta was not reported. To our knowledge, this is the first time that histological lesions and isolation and identification of H. ovis were clearly linked to a bovine abortion.


"Polio" (PEM) in a 200 pound dairy calf

A three month old Holstein bull calf had a 2 day history of star gazing, opisthotonus, lateral recumbency, muscle convulsions and blindness. The calf received two injections of thiamine HCL the day prior to presentation and no clinical response was seen. Marked autofluorescence of the entire cortex of both cerebral hemispheres was seen under UV light, consistent with polioencephalomalacia (PEM). Microscopically, typical laminar neuronal necrosis was observed in the cerebral cortical grey matter.  Many cases of PEM can usually be linked to feeding increased amounts of a high concentrate ration at a rate that outpaces adaptation by rumen flora.


Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) causes major problems for the swine industry worldwide. At ADDL, we used whole genome sequencing to identify two novel strains of PRRS virus from pigs experiencing severe clinical episodes of respiratory and reproductive disease.  Our study highlights the importance of continued monitoring of PRRS virus using whole genome sequencing.  Reference: Wang L, Zhang Y. Novel porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus strains in the United States with deletions in untranslated regions. Arch Virol. 2015 Sep 11. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26358265.