Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Borna disease virus

Synonym(s): Staggering disease

Contributor(s): Danielle Gunn-Moore

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Family: Bornaviridae.
  • Order: mononegavirales.

Etymology

  • Disease first seen in horses over 200 years ago in the Borna region of southern Germany.

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Probably carried by rodents.

Transmission

  • Probably direct transmission from rodents.
  • No evidence of cat-to-cat transmission.
  • In other species direct contact with secretions, contaminated food and water supplies may play a role.

Pathological effects

  • Natural disease in cats is seen mostly in young adult males.
  • Subclinical infection is common, while fatal disease is rare.
  • Whether infection causes disease depends on:
    • The age and genetics of the host.
    • The dose and strain of the virus.
    • The route of infection. 
  • Clinical disease is characterized by:
    • Behavioral and motor disturbances.
    • Fever.
    • Increased aggression, fear or friendliness.
    • Hind limb ataxia.
    • Seizures.
  • Disease is usually progressive but can also be episodic.

Control

Control via animal

  • No treatment or vaccines.

Control via environment

  • Prevent access to rodents?

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

Other sources of information

  • Gunn-Moore DA & Harbour DA Feline (2001) Spongiform Encephalopathy and Borna Disease. In: Consultations in feline Internal Medicine 4. Ed. August J. Philadelphia. WB Saunders. pp 62-70.

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