Journal Article


Máire C McElroy
Mark P Dagleish
Chris Cousens
Emily Connaghan
Claire Fahy
Ronan O'Neill
John P Moriarty
Locksley L McV Messam
Joseph P. Cassidy
Alan Wolfe
and 1 others



united kingdom opa geographical distribution diagnostics ireland adult prevalence jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus animal welfare neoplasia retrovirus molecular methods ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction jsrv jaagsiekte sheep ireland

First confirmation by PCR of Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus in Ireland and prevalence of ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma in adult sheep at slaughter. (2017)

Abstract Ovine pulmonary adenocarcinoma (OPA), caused by Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus (JSRV), is characterised by the development of invariably fatal lung tumours primarily in adult sheep. High infection rates and disease prevalence can develop during initial infection of flocks, leading to on-farm economic losses and animal welfare issues in sheep with advanced disease. The disease has been reported in Ireland and is notifiable, but the presence of JSRV has never been confirmed using molecular methods in this country. Additionally, due to the difficulties in ante-mortem diagnosis (especially of latently-infected animals, or those in the very early stages of disease), accurate information regarding national prevalence and distribution is unavailable. This study aimed to confirm the presence of JSRV in Ireland and to obtain estimates regarding prevalence and distribution by means of an abattoir survey utilising gross examination, histopathology, JSRV-specific reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and SU protein specific immunohistochemistry (IHC) to examine the lungs of adult sheep. Lungs from 1911 adult sheep were examined macroscopically in the abattoir and 369 were removed for further testing due to the presence of gross lesions of any kind. All 369 were subject to histopathology and RT-PCR, and 46 to IHC. Thirty-one lungs (31/1911, 1.6%) were positive for JSRV by RT-PCR and/or IHC but only ten cases of OPA were confirmed (10/1911, 0.5%) Four lung tumours not associated with JSRV were also identified. JSRV-positive sheep tended to cluster within the same flocks, and JSRV-positive sheep were identified in the counties of Donegal, Kerry, Kilkenny, Offaly, Tipperary, Waterford and Wicklow. The presence of JSRV has been confirmed in the Republic of Ireland for the first time using molecular methods (PCR) and IHC. In addition, an estimate of OPA prevalence in sheep at slaughter and information regarding distribution of JSRV infection has been obtained. The prevalence estimate appears similar to that of the United Kingdom (UK). Results also indicate that the virus has a diverse geographical distribution throughout Ireland. These data highlights the need for further research to establish national control and monitoring strategies.
Collections Ireland -> University College Dublin -> Veterinary Medicine Research Collection
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> PubMed
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> School of Veterinary Medicine
Ireland -> University College Dublin -> College of Health and Agricultural Sciences

Full list of authors on original publication

Máire C McElroy, Mark P Dagleish, Chris Cousens, Emily Connaghan, Claire Fahy, Ronan O'Neill, John P Moriarty, Locksley L McV Messam, Joseph P. Cassidy, Alan Wolfe and 1 others

Experts in our system

Máire C McElroy
Total Publications: 28
Ronan G. O'Neill
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 18
Locksley L McV Messam
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 18
Joseph P. Cassidy
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 55
Alan Wolfe
University College Dublin
Total Publications: 3