In the course of attempts to grow the jaagsiekte retrovirus in cell culture, a typical lentivirus was isolated for the first time in South Africa from adenomatous lungs. Morphologically the virus could not be distinguished from other lentiviruses, but serologically it was shown to be more closely related to visna virus than to caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus. However, a preliminary restriction enzyme analysis of the linear proviral DNA of this new lentivirus (SA-DMVV) revealed that it is significantly district from visna virus and CAEV and therefore may represent a third type of lentivirus. Antibodies to the virus were demonstrated in a number of sheep in various parts of the country, but a direct link to a disease condition was not found. Attempts to produce lung lesions by
intratracheal injection of the virus have been unsuccessful to date but a transient arthritis was produced by intra-articular inoculation. Viral replication seems to be enhanced in jaagsiekte lungs.
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