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  • Author or Editor: S. Kecskeméti x
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Since genetic recombination is a major factor in the evolution of the cytopathogenic (cp) bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) biotypes, in this study the cytopathogenicity markers were investigated in the genomes of two cp BVDV strains recently isolated from mucosal disease (MD) cases in Hungary. In the genome of strain H4956, a Jiv-like insertion was found similar to those described in reference strain NADL and in other BVDV 1, BVDV 2 and border disease virus (BDV) strains. The 133 amino acid Jiv-like sequence is inserted at nucleotide position 4984 (amino acid position 1533), 9 nucleotides upstream of that of strain NADL. The insertion showed 96% amino acid sequence identity with the cellular Jiv protein. In the genome of cp BVDV strain H115/PCR, an ubiquitin-containing duplication was found. The duplicated sequence started at nucleotide position 7978 (amino acid 2531) in the NS4B gene. The duplication contained a complete ubiquitin monomer of 76 amino acids and the complete NS3 gene starting at nucleotide position 5153 (amino acid 1589), which corresponds to the first N-terminal amino acid of NS3. The duplication was located further downstream of the known ubiquitin-containing genomic regions of cp BVDV strains, and it consisted of the shortest inserted nucleotide sequence. The insertions and duplication of strains H4956 and H115/PCR further confirmed that recombinations occurring at positions A and B are the most common mechanisms leading to the development of BVDV cytopathogenicity.

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Bovine torovirus is an established aetiological agent of disease in cattle, while porcine torovirus has only been isolated from healthy animals. Evidence for the presence of torovirus has been described in several European countries and also in the United States. A survey was performed to detect toroviruses in Hungary by means of sampling ten swine and nine bovine herds. Rectal swabs and faecal specimens were collected from diarrhoeic calves and from weaned piglets. The samples were tested by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using torovirus-specific primers and the positive samples were further examined by electron microscopy (EM). Torovirus was detected in 4 diarrhoeic calves (out of 111) and in 10 healthy weaned pigs (out of 200 tested), representing two of the 9 calf herds and two of the 10 pig herds tested. This is the first report of exact diagnosis of torovirus in Hungary.

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The occurrence of two important pathogens, equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV1) and equine arteritis virus (EAV) causing abortions, perinatal foal mortality and respiratory disease, was investigated by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and virus isolation to demonstrate the presence of abortigenic viruses in samples from 248 horse fetuses in Hungary. We found 26 EHV1- and 4 EAV-positive aborted or prematurely born foals from 16 and 4 outbreaks, respectively, proving that despite the widely applied vaccination, EHV1 is a far more important cause of abortions in the studs than EAV. We compared the virus content of different organs of the fetuses by PCR and isolation to identify the organ most suitable for virus demonstration. Our investigations indicate that the quantity of both viruses is highest in the lungs; therefore, according to our observations, in positive cases the probability of detection is highest from lung samples of aborted or newborn foals. Both the PCR and the virus isolation results revealed that the liver, though widely used, is not the best organ to sample either for EHV1 or for EAV detection. From the analysis of the epidemiological data, we tried to estimate the importance of the two viruses in the Hungarian horse population.

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Authors: I. Kiss, S. Kecskeméti, J. Tanyi, S. Belák, C. Ros and S. B. Klingeborn

The quasispecies nature of three animal pathogenic RNA viruses of field origin was examined by testing variants of classical swine fever virus (CSFV) originating from geographically different areas, feline coronavirus (FCoV) detected from the same animal by successive sampling, and rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) originating from successive outbreaks in the same geographic area. Clinical samples were investigated using reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and ensuing single strand conformational polymorphism (SSCP) assay. By the combination of these methods even subtle differences could be detected among the amplified fragments of the same virus species of different origin. FCoV proved to comprise the most and CSFV the less heterogeneous virus quasispecies. The results show that the combination of RT-PCR and SSCP provides novel and highly sensitive means for the characterisation of RNA viruses, with special regard to genome composition, evolution, features of pathogenicity and molecular epizootiology.

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Authors: Andrea Bistyák, S. Kecskeméti, R. Glávits, I. Tischler, S. Nagy, G. Kardos and I. Kiss

An epizootic of Pacheco’s disease is reported from a zoo bird population. The infection was introduced by wild-captured Patagonian conures ( Cyanoliseus patagonus ) despite 61 days of quarantine. The disease affected several parrot species and, interestingly, three out of seven bearded barbets ( Lybius dubius ). The mortality rate was 30.93%. Autopsy revealed abdominal hyperaemia with liver haemorrhages and, in less rapid cases, yellowish discoloration and fragility of the liver. Death was caused by the collapse of circulation. Histopathology demonstrated liver cell necrosis, disintegration of the lobular structure, and a few intranuclear inclusion bodies. Icosahedral virions were detected by electron microscopy. The virus was isolated in the allantoic cavity of embryonated chicken eggs as well as in chicken embryo fibroblast cell culture. A 281-bp-long fragment of psittacid herpesvirus DNA was detected by PCR in cell culture material and liver samples of the affected birds. To our knowledge this is the first report of Pacheco’s disease in bearded barbets as well as the first occurrence of Pacheco’s disease in Hungary.

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Authors: L. Sámi, Krisztina Ursu, J. McKillen, S. Kecskeméti, S. Belák and I. Kiss

Specific oligonucleotide primers were selected and combined in a multiplex arrangement, in order to detect simultaneously three economically important porcine viruses by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). The pathogen panel was comprised of viruses that cause reproductive failure in infected herds: Aujeszky’s disease virus (ADV), porcine parvovirus (PPV) and porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus (PRRSV). In order to reduce the time required for the detection of the pathogens, the assay was optimised to a RapidCycler PCR instrument. The multiplex PCR assay was shown to be specific, sensitive and rapid, because the results were read in less than 60 min after sample preparation. Due to its speed, efficiency and sensitivity, the described rapid multiplex PCR assay serves as a useful novel tool in the veterinary diagnostic laboratories for the quick and complex detection of these important porcine pathogens.

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Authors: L. Tekes, B. Markos, J. Méhesfalvi, Zsuzsanna Máté, E. Kudron and S. Kecskeméti

Hungarian cattle herds were surveyed for bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) infection by ELISA of milk and serum samples. In 1993, 75% of the large cattle herds (consisting of more than 50 cattle) and all small herds (small-scale producers' stocks), while in 1997 90% of the small herds were included in the survey. In the case of large herds, 79.3% of the herds and 64.1% of the samples tested were found to be positive. Of the small herds, 13.5% and 15.7% tested positive in 1993 and 1997, respectively. The majority of large herds were Holstein-Friesian dairy stocks. Small herds with an infection rate markedly exceeding the average were found in those counties where the small herds had been in close contact with the large-scale farms, or where new herds were established by using animals of uncontrolled infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) status originating from large farms. Attention is called to the importance of maintaining the IBR-free status of small herds that constitute one-third of the Hungarian cattle population.

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Postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS), a new disease in Hungary, was recognized in a swine herd located in Southeast Hungary, during the early winter of 1999. The first clinical signs of paleness, anaemia, and leanness appeared immediately after weaning, at the age of 40-50 days. Pustules were frequently observed on the skin of the trunk, and signs of necrotic dermatitis were also visible. A syndrome of poor growth and wasting was characteristic of the affected pigs. A porcine circovirus (PCV), the suspected causative agent, was detected by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Sequencing data and restriction endonuclease (RE) analysis of the PCR products suggested that the virus belonged to the PCV-II group where all the causative agents of PMWS are also grouped.

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Authors: I. Kiss, P. Germán, L. Sámi, Márta Antal, T. Farkas, G. Kardos, S. Kecskeméti, Á. Dán and S. Belák

A real-time RT-PCR assay utilising light upon extension fluorogenic primer (LUX RT-PCR) was developed for the rapid and efficient detection of avian influenza viruses (AIV). The assay detected each of the AIV isolates tested (16/16) and gave negative results with heterologous pathogens (17/17). The detection limit of the assay proved to be 10-0.5 EID50/0.2 ml and 101.5 EID50/0.2 ml in allantoic fluid of virus-infected embryonated chicken eggs and in spiked chicken faeces samples, respectively. Based on its specificity, sensitivity and relative simplicity, the LUX RT-PCR assay provides a novel, rapid and cost-effective diagnostic tool for avian influenza surveillance and monitoring programs.

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