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Res Vet Sci. 1992 May;52(3):307-11.

Comparison of the pathogenicity for pregnant sheep of Rift Valley fever virus and a live attenuated vaccine.

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Division of Pathology, PHLS Centre for Applied Microbiology and Research, Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire.


A live attenuated mutant of Rift Valley fever virus, MV P12, was previously shown to be non-pathogenic in young lambs, but capable of producing protective immunity. The studies reported here show that the abortion in sheep caused by an infection with virulent virus is the result of necrosis of the maternal villi and cotyledons arising from an acute inflammation of the maternal caruncles. Pregnant ewes infected with the attenuated mutant virus MV P12 showed none of these lesions in the placenta and gave birth to healthy lambs. Colostrum from ewes infected with MV P12 virus was able to induce protective immunity in the offspring. These data along with previously published results suggest that the mutant virus MV P12 is an excellent candidate for use as a live attenuated veterinary vaccine.

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