Louping Ill Virus

Authored by: Nicholas Johnson

Molecular Detection of Animal Viral Pathogens

Print publication date:  August  2016
Online publication date:  May  2016

Print ISBN: 9781498700368
eBook ISBN: 9781498700375
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b19719-ch27

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Abstract

Louping ill (louping, derived from an old Scottish word "loup," which means to spring into the air, reflecting the key effect of the disease in sheep) is a tick-transmitted viral disease of primarily sheep and occasionally other hosts. The causal agent louping ill virus (or LIV) is a single-stranded positive-sense RNA virus belonging to the Flaviviridae family. Affecting the central nervous system (CNS), louping ill (also known as ovine encephalomyelitis, infectious encephalomyelitis of sheep, or trembling ill) is characterized by a biphasic fever, muscular tremors, ataxia (particularly of the hindlimbs), depression, coma, and death. The disease is prevalent in the rough hill grazing land of the British Isles where the sheep tick, Ixodes ricinus, is present. However, similar diseases of sheep caused by related viruses have been recently reported in Norway, Spain, Turkey, and Bulgaria.

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