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Theriogenology. 2008 Mar 1;69(4):473-80. Epub 2007 Dec 21.

Detection of viral genomes of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) in semen and in genital tract tissues of male goat.

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Department of Research into the Health Risk and Biotechnology of Reproduction ENVN, BP 40706, Nantes Cedex 03, France.


The aim of this study was to determine the infectious status of semen and genital tract tissues from male goat naturally infected with the caprine lentivirus. Firstly, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used to detect the presence of CAEV proviral-DNA in the circulating mononuclear cells, semen (spermatozoa and non-spermatic cells), and genital tract tissues (testis, epididymis, vas deferens, and vesicular gland) of nine bucks. RT-PCR was used to detect the presence of CAEV viral RNA in seminal plasma. Secondly, in situ hybridization was performed on PCR-positive samples from the head, body, and tail of the epididymis. CAEV proviral-DNA was identified by PCR in the blood cells of 7/9 bucks and in non-spermatic cells of the seminal plasma of 3/9 bucks. No CAEV proviral-DNA was identified in the spermatozoa fraction. The presence of CAEV proviral-DNA in non-spermatic cells and the presence of CAEV in the seminal plasma was significantly higher (p<0.01) in bucks with PCR-positive blood. Two of the three bucks with positive seminal plasma cells presented with at least one PCR-positive genital tract tissue. Proviral-DNA was found in the head (3/9), body (3/9), and tail (2/9) of the epididymis. In situ hybridization confirmed the presence of viral mRNA in at least one of each of these tissues, in the periphery of the epididymal epithelium. This study clearly demonstrates the presence of viral mRNA and proviral-DNA in naturally infected male goat semen and in various tissues of the male genital tract.

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