Distribution of borna disease virus antigen and rna in tissues of naturally infected bicolored white-toothed shrews, crocidura leucodon, supporting their role as reservoir host species

M. E. Puorger, M. Hilbe, J. P. Müller, J. Kolodziejek, N. Nowotny, K. Zlinszky, F. Ehrensperger

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22 Citations (Scopus)


Borna disease is a severe viral-induced disorder of the central nervous system of horses, sheep, and a few other animal species, occurring in certain areas of central Europe. Pathogenesis and epidemiology of natural Borna disease virus (BDV) infections are still not fully understood; several unique epidemiologic features, however, point toward the existence of BDV reservoir populations other than the final hosts. In this study, 69 mice and 12 shrews were trapped and examined. The virus distribution was investigated in detail in 2 BDV-positive bicolored white-toothed shrews, Crocidura leucodon, by immunohistochemistry and TaqMan real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). RT-PCR amplification products were sequenced, and the sequences were compared. These shrews had been collected in a BDV-endemic geographical region using live traps and did not show obvious clinical or pathological disease signs. BDV antigen and nucleic acid were identified in several organs, including the brain, mainly in nerve tissue and neurons, respectively, but also in parenchymal cells (eg, hepatocytes, Leydig cells) and epithelial cells, particularly of the respiratory and urogenital tract.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)236-244
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010



  • Bicolored white-toothed shrew
  • Borna disease virus
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Reservoir species
  • Reverse transcription polymerase chain re action
  • RT-PCR
  • Sequencing
  • TaqMan real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction
  • Tissue distribution

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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