Skip to main content

Goat uterine epithelial cells are susceptible to infection with Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis Virus (CAEV) in vivo


The aim of this study was to determine, using immunofluorescence and in situ hybridization, whether CAEV is capable of infecting goat uterine epithelial cells in vivo. Five CAEV seropositive goats confirmed as infected using double nested polymerase chain reaction (dnPCR) on leucocytes and on vaginal secretions were used as CAEV positive goats. Five CAEV-free goats were used as controls. Samples from the uterine horn were prepared for dnPCR, in situ hybridization, and immunofluorescence. The results from dnPCR confirmed the presence of CAEV proviral DNA in the uterine horn samples of infected goats whereas no CAEV proviral DNA was detected in samples taken from the uninfected control goats. The in situ hybridization probe was complementary to part of the CAEV gag gene and confirmed the presence of CAEV nucleic acids in uterine samples. The positively staining cells were seen concentrated in the mucosa of the lamina propria of uterine sections. Finally, laser confocal analysis of double p28/cytokeratin immunolabelled transverse sections of CAEV infected goat uterus, demonstrated that the virus was localized in glandular and epithelial cells. This study clearly demonstrates that goat uterine epithelial cells are susceptible to CAEV infection in vivo. This finding could help to further our understanding of the epidemiology of CAEV, and in particular the possibility of vertical transmission.


Caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) was first described as a cause of chronic arthritis in American goats [13], and has since been found to be widespread in goat herds worldwide [4, 5]. CAEV is an RNA virus belonging to the lentivirus genus of the family retroviridae[1]. In France, the infection is present in around 80 to 95% of breeding herds [6] and causes economic losses through reduced milk production, early culling, and loss of export potential [7]. Symptoms of infection may include lung disease and, more often, indurative mastitis as well as classical arthritis. Leucoencephalitis in young kids [1] remains rare.

Infection can be transmitted by any means involving the transfer of infected cells to a naïve recipient. In the field, the principal route of transmission is vertical from dam to kids through colostrum and milk [5], with additional horizontal transmission following prolonged contact between infected and naïve adult animals [8]. Attempts to reduce infection by treating colostrum and milk, and separating infected and naïve animals have been disappointing [8, 9], and attempts have been made to identify other risk factors [10, 11].

Although the oral route remains the principal mode of natural transmission, sexual transmission has yet to be fully explored. CAEV proviral DNA has been identified using PCR in tissues of the genital tract (uterus, oviduct, and ovary [12]), and in uterine flushing media recovered four days after fecundation [13, 14].

The virus primarily infects cells of the monocyte-macrophage lineage, with viral production being linked to cell differentiation from monocytes to macrophages [15, 16]; however, viral transcripts have been detected in epithelial cells in the small intestine, thyroid gland, and kidneys of infected goats [17]. In vitro, granulosa cells, oviduct epithelial cells [18, 19] and caprine early embryonic cells [20] are susceptible to CAEV infection, and infection with this virus is productive. Nevertheless, no information is available concerning the phenotype of CAEV infected cells in the female genital tract. This information would improve our understanding of the risk of CAEV vertical transmission in utero or following in vivo as well as in vitro embryo production and embryo transfer.

The goal of this study was to determine, using immunofluorescence and in situ hybridization, whether CAEV is capable of infecting uterine epithelial cells in vivo.

Materials and methods


Five goats that had repeatedly tested seropositive for CAEV using ELISA, and that were confirmed as positive using PCR on leucocytes and vaginal secretions, were used as positive infected goats. Five goats that were selected from ELISA certified CAEV negative herds and which had two dnPCR negative blood samples and two dnPCR vaginal swab samples at an interval of one month were used as negative control goats.


The goats were slaughtered in accordance with French regulations. Immediately prior to slaughter, 8 mL of blood were drawn from the jugular vein into acid citrate dextrose.

The uterus was harvested from each animal immediately after euthanasia and exsanguination. Uterine samples were taken from each goat from the greater curvature of the uterine horn and processed in one of three different ways: for PCR analysis, samples were stored at -80°C. For immunohistochemistry analyses, samples were embedded in Tissue tek (Sakura Finetek, Torrance, CA, USA) and frozen in isopentane cooled with liquid nitrogen. Transverse cryosections of uterine horn were prepared with a Leica CM 3050S cryostat (Leica Microsystems, Nanterre, France). For in situ hybridization, tissues were fixed in 4% formaldehyde for 10 min at room temperature and embedded in paraffin. We used separate scalpel blades for each goat. When collecting different samples from the same goat, we washed the scalpel blade in RBS Viro (Fluka Chemical Corp New York NY, USA), wiped it on a sheet of absorbent paper, disinfected it with ethanol (70°), and finally dried it with a new sheet of absorbent paper between each sample.

PCR analyses

Preparation of the samples for PCR

The whole blood, collected in anticoagulant, was centrifuged at 1900 × g for 30 min at room temperature using Ficoll density-gradient centrifugation. At the end of this first phase, leucocytes were recovered from the buffy coat, washed in sterile PBS pH 7.2, and centrifuged for 5 min at 700 × g, three times over. The supernatant was discarded and the cell pellet was stored at -80°C awaiting subsequent DNA extraction.

After thawing, DNA was extracted from the leucocytes and uterine samples using a "QIAamp Tissue kit®" (Qiagen, Courtabœuf, France), in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. The samples were then stored at -20°C, awaiting PCR analysis.

Procedure for double nested-PCR

We used the double nested-PCR technique, as described previously by Barlough et al.[21] to detect CAEV proviral-DNA in the blood and uterine horn tissue samples. Two rounds of PCR amplification were used to detect the gag sequence of the CAEV genome.

In the first round, the virus was detected by amplifying a fragment of proviral-DNA, located between nucleotide 393 and nucleotide 1291, using external primers GAG EX5 (5'- GAA GTG TTG CTG CGA GAG GTC TTG -3') and GAG EX3 (5'- TGC CTG ATC CAT GTT AGC TTG TGC -3'). This round was immediately followed by a second round, amplifying the fragment located between nucleotide 524 and nucleotide 1036, using internal primers GAG IN5 (5'- GAT AGA GAC ATG GCG AGG CAA GT -3') and GAG IN3 (5'- GAG GCC ATG CTG CAT TGC TAC TGT -3'). Oligonucleotide primers specific to the fourth exon of the human β-actin gene were used as an internal control for the integrity of the DNA lysates: external-ES30 (5'- TCA TGT TTG AGA CCT TCA ACA CCC CAG -3') and ES32 (5'- CCA GGG GAA GGC TTG AAG AGT GCC -3') for the first round, and internal-ES31 (5'- CCC CAG CCA TGT ACG TTG CTA TCC -3') and ES33 (5'- GCC TCA GGG CAG CGG AAC CGC TCA -3') for the second round [22].

For the first round of amplification, 10 μL of DNA (containing 0.5 to 1 μg) were added to 40 μL of an amplification solution, or "mix1". The latter was comprised of 5 μL of reaction buffer [10×] (670 mM Tris/HCl (pH 8.8), 160 mM (NH4)2SO4,0.1% TWEEN-20), 5 μL of MgCl2 (50 mM), 1 μL of dNTP (25 mM of each oligonucleotide triphosphate: dATP, dGTP, dCTP, dTTP), 0.25 μL of TAQ Polymerase (5 U/μL, EUROBIOTAQ® DNA Polymerase-Thermostable, GAETAQ02K, EUROBIO, Les Ulis, France), 0.5 μL each of primers GAG EX3, GAG EX5, ES30, and ES32 (20 μM, GIBCO BRL Custom primers - Life Technologies, Grand Island, NY, USA), and 26.75 μL of DEPC-treated water.

For the second round, 5 μL of the first round were added to 45 μL of a second amplification solution, or "mix2" containing the same reagents as the solution in mixture 1, except that internal primers GAG IN5, GAG IN3, ES31, and ES33 were used in place of external primers GAG EX5, GAG EX3, ES30, and ES32. For each round, following initial denaturation at 94°C for 5 min, the samples were submitted to a series of 35 cycles comprising, successively, a further one-minute denaturation phase at 94°C, a 90-second hybridization phase at 46°C and a 2-and-a-half-minute extension phase at 60°C. Each round was followed by a final extension at 60°C for 15 min. Amplification products were visualized using electrophoresis on 1.5% agarose gel (GIBCO LIFE Technologies, Grand Island, NY, USA), containing Ethidium Bromide in 1× TAE buffer: 10 μL of the amplified fraction were added to 5 μL of dyed loading buffer, in each gel well. Two controls were performed for each gel: a positive control (CAEV proviral-DNA from infected GSM (goat synovial membrane)) and a negative control (distilled water). Five microliters of Smart-Ladder (GIBCO LIFE Technologies), was used as a molecular weight marker. This marker comprises 14 bands calibrated between 10 000 and 200 bp. Following electrophoretic separation, the bands were visualized using transillumination, with ultraviolet light (312 nm).

In situ hybridization and cytokeratin labeling

In situ hybridization

In situ hybridization was used to detect the presence of CAEV nucleic acids in the uterine samples. The specificity of the probe was checked by the observation of in situ hybridization on two goat synovial membrane cell cultures infected in vitro with CAEV-3112 [23]. Mammary lymph node samples from PCR-confirmed CAEV-infected goats with clinical disease were used as positive controls. Negative controls included PCR-negative tissues (lymph node and uterus) and non-infected goat synovial membrane cell cultures. The absence of non-specific labeling was checked by omitting the labeled probe in serial sections of positive tissues (lymph node and uterus) and in goat synovial membrane cell cultures infected in vitro.

All tissues were paraffin embedded after formalin fixation, and all solutions used were made with di-ethyl-pyro-carbonate-treated water to inactivate eventual RNAse contamination. Tissue sections (ca 4 μm) were spread out on RNAse-free silanized slides [24], covered with PBS pH 7.6 and dried in a hood oven at 37°C for 12 h before being deparaffinized twice for ten minutes in 1-bromopropane (LMR-Ground) and re-hydrated through 100%, 95%, 70% and 30% ethanol baths (5 min each) and distilled water (30 s). After 3 × 3 min washes in PBS, the sections were treated with an enhancing solution comprising 62.5 μL acetic anhydride in 25 mL of 0.1 M triethanolamine pH 8.0 for 10 min, washed in SSC 1× for 5 min, permeabilised in 0.2 M HCl for 10 min at room temperature, and finally washed in PBS for 5 min before hybridization.

A probe complementary to viral strand RNA was generated from the pBSCA plasmid carrying the complete CAEV genome by PCR amplification of the gag region using primers GAG EX 5' and GAG EX 3'. After purification with a GeneClean kit (Appligene, Illkirch, France), the probe was labeled by nick translation [25] using the Dig-Nick translation kit (Rock GmbH, Mannheim, Germany), and unincorporated nucleotides were removed by passage through Probe Quant T.M.G 50 columns (Amersham, Orsay, France). Labeled probes were verified by slot-blot determinations on Hybond™ N+ nylon membranes (Amersham, Pantin, France), and stored at -20°C until use.

Slides were pretreated with 30 μL hybridization mixture (50% formamide in 5× SSC containing 2% Casein, 0.1 N N-lauroyl sarcosine and 200 μg/mL sheared denatured salmon sperm) for 1-2 h at 42°C. The labeled probe was denatured by boiling for 10 min, then cooling on ice immediately before hybridization. The slides were overlaid with 30 μL of hybridizing mixture containing 16-32 ng of labeled probe and preheated to 42°C, covered with coverslips, and incubated for 16 h at 42°C in a moist atmosphere. The reaction was terminated by removing the coverslips and washing the slides in 2× SSC containing 0.1% SDS, twice for 5 min. After two further washes in a solution containing 1× SSC and 0.1% SDS for 15 min at 42°C and a solution containing 0.1 M malic acid and 0.3% Tween 20 for 1 min at room temperature, the slides were blocked with 10% casein in malic acid for 30 min at room temperature. They were then treated with alkaline phosphatase-labeled anti-dioxygenin (1/5000 in blocking solution) for a further 30 min at room temperature. After two washes in malic acid for 15 min at room temperature and rinsing in AP buffer (100 mM Tris HCl, 100 mM NaCl and 50 mM MgCl2 in water), freshly-prepared chromogenic substrate (5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolylphosphate/Nitro blue tetrazolium) in AP buffer was added for 10-20 min at room temperature in the dark. After rinsing in distilled water, the slides were counterstained with Harris hematoxylin, rinsed in tap water, dehydrated in alcohol, air dried, and mounted in DAKO® (Faramount, Trappes, France).

Cytokeratin labeling

To identify epithelial cells in uterine sections, adjacent sections were stained for cytokeratin. The sections were treated with trypsin (1 mg/mL) for 30 s at 37°C, washed three times in distilled water, blocked with 3% hydrogen peroxide for 10 min, washed in PBS pH 7.6 for 5 min, and then in normal goat serum (Dako; X.907; 20% in PBS) for 20 min. They were then incubated with a monoclonal anti-cytokeratin antibody (Dako; M 821: 1/500) in 2% BSA in PBS for 60 min in a humid chamber, washed three times in PBS, and incubated with biotinylated goat anti-mouse IgG (Dako; E.433; 1:300 in PBS) for 30 min at room temperature, then with streptavidin/peroxidase (Dako; P.397; 1:300 in PBS) for a further 30 min at room temperature. After the final wash, the slides were treated with chromogenic reagent (diaminobenzidine; Dako K.3485) for 15 min, counterstained with Harris hematoxylin, and mounted as above. Unrelated murine antibodies of the same Ig class were used as negative controls and oviductal epithelial cell cultures as positive controls.

Immunofluorescence and laser scanning confocal analysis

To determine the cellular localization of CAEV in uterine samples, we tested our primary antibody, IgG1 anti-p28 (CAEP5A1, VMRD, Pullman, USA), on goat synovial membrane cell cultures (GSM) infected in vitro by CAEV-3112. GSM are very sensitive to CAEV and therefore constitute a good positive control. Negative controls included PCR-negative uterine tissues and non-infected GSM cell cultures. Furthermore, the absence of non-specific labeling was checked by omitting the primary antibody on positive uterine tissue. To pinpoint the cellular localization of virus in uterine tissues, we performed double labeling against p28 and cytokeratin (N75350, Interchim, Montluçon, France) as a marker of epithelial cells, in combination with nuclei staining.

Transverse cryosections of uterine horn (10 μm) were prepared using a Leica CM 3050S cryostat. Sections were air dried at room temperature and fixed for 15 min with acetone at 4°C before being stored at -80°C. Immunolabeling was performed on freshly thawed sections. Sections were rehydrated with PBS and blocked with 10% donkey serum diluted in PBS. The mouse anti-p28 monoclonal antibody was diluted to 1/100 in blocking buffer and sections were incubated with this primary antibody overnight at 4°C. After washing, the sections were incubated with the secondary antibody, Alexa Fluor 555 donkey anti-mouse, for one hour at room temperature (1/400, A31570, Invitrogen, France). After washing, the samples were then fixed with PFA 4% for 15 min at room temperature, washed in PBS and incubated with a mouse anti-cytokeratin monoclonal antibody (N75350, Interchim, Montluçon, France) overnight at 4°C. Sections were then washed in PBS and incubated with a secondary antibody, Alexa fluor 488 donkey anti-mouse (A21202, Invitrogen, France). Nuclei were stained with Topro-3 (1/1000, Invitrogen Life Technologies, Illkirch, France). Finally, slides were coverslipped and mounted with Mowiol Medium (Clabiochem EMD Biosciences, San Diego, CA, USA). The immunolabeled sections were serially scanned with a confocal microscope (Nikon C1, Champigny-sur-Marne, France) using the 543 nm helium neon laser to observe p28 immunolabeling (red), the argon ion laser (488 nm) to observe cytokeratin immunolabeling (green), and the 633 nm helium neon laser to observe stained nuclei (blue).


PCR results

Samples analyzed for CAEV proviral-DNA using PCR were considered to be positive when a 512 bp band, corresponding to the positive control, was seen on agarose gel electrophoresis under UV light, between the 600 bp and 400 bp molecular weight bands. Whereas the 393 bp band, generated from the amplification of the endogenous actin gene, was present in both non-infected and CAEV-infected samples.

Nested-PCR amplification using DNA isolated from white blood cells and uterine samples taken from positive goats gave clear bands of the expected size (512 bp) on agar gel electrophoresis. No CAEV proviral DNA was detected in samples taken from non-infected control goats.

In situ hybridization

Hybridizing cells were characterized by the presence of brownish-purple intracytoplasmic inclusions. The positively-staining cells were concentrated in the mucosa of the lamina propria of uterine sections (Figure 1) and the uterine glands. In the adjacent sections, the glandular epithelial cells could be distinguished by their cuboid morphology with nuclei at the lower end, and were confirmed by brown cytokeratin staining (Figure 2).

Figure 1
figure 1

In situ hybridization of uterine tissues (bar = 10 micrometers). CAEV RNA positive staining (brownish-purple intracytoplasmic inclusions) could be identified (black arrow) in the uterine glands and in the lamina propria of the mucosa of uterine sections.

Figure 2
figure 2

Cytokeratine labeling of figure 1 adjacent section (4 μm). The brown cytokeratin staining (black arrow) identified the single layer of cuboidal glandular epithelial cell (bar = 10 micrometers).


Immunohistochemical analysis of CAEV p28 was performed on infected and non-infected GSM. Specific labeling of the virus was observed on CAEV infected GSM whereas no uptake occurred in healthy GSM. The double p28/cytokeratin immunolabeling performed on transverse sections of CAEV-infected goat uterus revealed that the virus was essentially localized in glandular epithelial cells and in the external epithelial cells of the uterus. No uptake was seen in non-infected goat uterus sections (Figure 3).

Figure 3
figure 3

Immunofluorescence results after laser scanning confocal analysis of (i) single CAEV p28 labeling (red color) on CAEV infected and non-infected GSM cells and of (ii) double CAEV p28 (red color) and cytokeratin (green color) labeling on the same uterine section of CAEV infected and non-infected goats. A: uterine gland from a CAEV infected goat; B: external epithelium of a uterus from a CAEV infected goat; C: an external epithelium of a uterus from a non infected goat.


In this study, we investigated the cellular localization of CAEV in uterine tissues taken from CAEV-infected goats, using in situ hybridization and immunofluorescence with laser scanning confocal analysis.

CAEV infection of uterine tissues was confirmed by the presence of cells with clear and specific cytoplasmic hybridization to a CAEV-specific probe. We used a probe that is a complementary part of the CAEV gag gene; a detectable reaction requires the presence of several copies of target sequences. The reaction thus revealed cytoplasmic concentrations consistent with actively replicating CAEV, and not just nuclear localizations of proviral sequences.

The double immunolabeling against p28 and cytokeratin, analyzed using immunofluorescence and laser scanning confocal analysis, clearly demonstrated that uterine epithelial cells were infected by CAEV in vivo.

In vitro studies have shown that various epithelial cell types from the goat genital tract, oviduct epithelial cells [18], and granulosa cells [19], are highly susceptible to productive infection with CAEV. In other species various lentiviruses, including Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) [26], Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV) [27], and the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1) [28] have been shown to infect cells of the epithelial lineage.

The presence of CAEV-infected epithelial cells in the genital tract tissues could have a major impact on the epidemiology of the disease. Infected epithelial cells could maintain latent infection with no accompanying inflammatory reaction; the embryo or fetus could therefore come into contact with CAEV during pregnancy and be infected at different stages of development. This would explain the presence of amplifiable CAEV sequences in flushing media from superovulated does [13, 14] and in the post partum secretions of breeding goats [10]. Even if the significance of intrauterine viral transmission continues to be unclear and controversial [29], infected epithelial cells could also explain the seroconversion in 2 of 32 kids delivered by caesarean section, or 1 in 10 naturally born animals, all of which were colostrum-deprived [8]. In another instance, nearly a quarter of kids separated from their mothers at birth had seroconverted to CAEV by 5 months [30]. The related ovine lentivirus has been shown to infect fetal lambs in utero [31] and it has been estimated that this route could account for 11% of contamination of lambs [32].

The presence of the CAEV genome in the uterine epithelial cells of does raises concerns regarding the risk of CAEV transmission via embryo transfer. After in vitro fertilization, early stage embryos are cultured on a feeder layer of epithelial cells from goat oviducts [3335], which are essential for early development before transfer to recipient does [36, 37]. These cells are derived from organs obtained at the slaughterhouse from goats of unknown CAEV status, and in many industrialized countries the incidence of CAEV infection may be as high as 60 to 80% [6]. A similar instance occurred in bovine embryo biotechnology, where feeder cells were found to carry bovine viral diarrhea virus from contaminated donors [38], which eventually infected embryos [39]. The risk of embryo contamination by CAEV would seem, however, to be limited, provided that the guidelines of the International Embryo Transfer Society [40], are followed strictly, because an intact zona pellucida has been shown to protect against CAEV infection [14, 41].


  1. Cork LC, Hadlow WJ, Crawford TB, Gorham JR, Piper RC: Infections leukoencephalomyelitis of young goats. J Infect Dis. 1974, 129: 134-141. 10.1093/infdis/129.2.134.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Cork LC, Narayan O: The pathogenesis of viral leukoencephalomyelitis-arthritis of goats. I. Persistent viral infection with progressive pathologic changes. Lab Invest. 1980, 42: 596-602.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Crawford TB, Adams DS, Cheevers WP, Cork LC: Chronic arthritis in goats caused by a Retrovirus. Sciences. 1980, 207: 977-999. 10.1126/science.207.4434.977.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Chebloune Y, Karr BM, Singh DK, Narayan O: Maedi-visna and caprine arthritis encephalitis viruses: classical animal models of persistent lentiviral infection. Persistent viral infections. Edited by: Ahmed R, Chen ISY. 1998, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd., 347-361.

    Google Scholar 

  5. Rowe JD, East NE: Risk factors for transmission and methods for control of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus infection. Vet Clin North Am Food Anim Pract. 1997, 13: 35-53.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Peretz G, Asso J, Devillechaise P: Le CAEV: Revue des connaissances actuelles et conséquences pratiques. Revue Méd Vét. 1993, 144: 93-98. (in French)

    Google Scholar 

  7. Peretz G, Cimarosti I: Conséquences de l'arthrite encéphalite caprine sur la production laitière. Résumés de la 41e réunion de la Fédération Européenne de Zootechnie. 1990, 164-165. (in French)

    Google Scholar 

  8. Adams DS, Klevjer Anderson P, Carison JL, Mcguire TC, Gorham JR: Transmission and control of Caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus. Am J of Vet Res. 1983, 44: 1670-1675.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Peretz G, Bugnard F, Calavas D: Study of a prevention programme for caprine arthritis-encephalitis. Vet Res. 1994, 25: 322-326.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Rowe JD, Van Hoosear K, East N, Derock EJ: The presence of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus proviral DNA in postpartum genital secretion of dairy goat does. Proceedings of the 26th Word veterinary Congress, WVA. Sept 23-26; Lyon, France.

  11. Rimstad E, East NE, Torten M, Higgins J, Pedersen NC: Delayed seroconversion following naturally acquired caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus infection in goats. Am J Vet Res. 1993, 54: 1858-1862.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  12. Fieni F, Rowe J, Van Hoosear K, Burucoa C, Oppenheim S, Anderson G, Murray J, Bondurant R: Presence of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) proviral DNA in genital tract tissues of superovulated dairy goat does. Theriogenology. 2003, 59: 1515-1523. 10.1016/S0093-691X(02)01194-9.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  13. Fieni F, Rowe J, Van Hoosear K, Burucoa C, Oppenheim S, Anderson G, Murray J, Bon Durant R: Presence of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) infected cells in flushing media following oviductal-stage embryo collection. Theriogenology. 2002, 57: 931-940. 10.1016/S0093-691X(01)00698-7.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Ali Al Ahmad MZ, Chebloune Y, Bouzar BA, Baril G, Bouvier F, Chatagnon G, Leboeuf B, M. Pepin M, Guibert JM, Russo P, Manfredi E, Martin J, Fieni F: Lack of risk of transmission of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV) during embryo transfer. Theriogenology. 2008, 69: 408-415. 10.1016/j.theriogenology.2007.10.009.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Narayan O, Wolinsky JS, Clements JE, Strandberg JD, Griffin DE, Cork LC: Slow viruses replication: The role of macrophages in the persistence and expression of visna viruses of sheep and goat. J Gen Virol. 1982, 59: 345-356. 10.1099/0022-1317-59-2-345.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  16. Narayan O, Kennedy-Stoskopf S, Sheffer D, Griffin DE, Clements JE: Activation of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus expression during maturation of monocytes to macrophages. Infect Immun. 1983, 4: 67-73.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Zink MC, Yager J, Myers JD: Pathogenesis of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus. Cellular localization of viral transcripts in tissues of infected goats. Am J Pathol. 1990, 136: 843-854.

    PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. Lamara A, Fieni F, Mselli-Lakhal L, Tainturier D, Chebloune Y: Efficient replication of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus in goat granulosa cells. Virus Res. 2001, 79: 165-172. 10.1016/S0168-1702(01)00347-1.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  19. Lamara A, Fieni F, Mselli-Lakhal L, Tainturier D, Chebloune Y: Epithelial cells from goat oviduct are highly permissive for productive infection with caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV). Virus Res. 2002, 87: 69-77. 10.1016/S0168-1702(02)00082-5.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Ali Al Ahmad MZ, Fieni F, Guiguen F, Larrat M, Pellerin JL, Roux C, Chebloune Y: Cultured goat embryos and cells are susceptible to infection with caprine encephalitis virus. Virology. 2006, 353: 307-315. 10.1016/j.virol.2006.06.007.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. Barlough J, East N, Rowe JD, Van Hoosear K, Deock E, Bigornia L, Rimsted E: Double-nested polymerase chain reaction for detection of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus proviral DNA in blood, milk and tissues of infected goats. J Virol Methods. 1994, 50: 101-114. 10.1016/0166-0934(94)90167-8.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Joag SV, Stephens EB, Narayan O: Lentiviruses. Field's Virolog. Edited by: Field BN, Knipe DM, Howley PM. 1996, Lippincott- Raven, Philadelphia, 1977-1996.

    Google Scholar 

  23. Blondin I, Grillet C, Thiogane Y: Syncitia formation in cultures ans analysis of the protein composition of various strains of caprine arthritis encephalitis virus (CAEV). Ann Rech Vet. 1989, 20: 153-158. (in French)

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. Cohen PS, Seeger RC, Triche TJ, Israel MA: Detection of N-myc gene expression in neuroblastoma tumors by in situ hybridization. Am J Pathol. 1988, 131: 391-397.

    PubMed Central  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. Rigby PW, Dieckmann M, Rhodes C, Berg P: Labeling deoxyribonucleic acid to high specific activity in vitro by nick translation with DNA polymerase. J Mol Biol. 1997, 113: 237-251.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Caney SM, Day MJ, Gruffydd-Jones TJ, Helps CR, Hirst TR, Stokes CR: Expression of chemokine receptors in the feline reproductive tract and large intestine. J Comp Pathol. 2002, 126: 289-302. 10.1053/jcpa.2002.0554.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  27. Huang YT, Miller CJ, Wong V, Fujioka H, Nedrud JG, Lamm ME: Replication and budding of simian immunodeficiency virus in polarized epithelial cells. Virology. 1999, 257: 24-34. 10.1006/viro.1999.9637.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Batman PA, Kotler DP, Kapembwa MS, Booth D, Potten CS, Orenstein JM, Scally AJ, Griffin GE: HIV enteropathy: crypt stem and transit cell hyperproliferation induces villous atrophy in HIV/microsporidia-infected jejuna mucosa. AIDS. 2007, 21: 433-439. 10.1097/QAD.0b013e3280142ee8.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. Peterhans E, Greenland T, Badiola J, Harkiss G, Bertoni G, Amorena B, Eliaszewicz M, Juste RA, Krassnig R, Lafont JP, Lenihan P, Petursson G, Pritchard G, Thorley J, Vitu C, Mornex JF, Pepin M: Routes of transmission and consequences of small ruminant lentiviruses (SRLVs) infection and eradication schemes. Vet Res. 2004, 35: 257-274. 10.1051/vetres:2004014.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. East NE, Rowe JD, Dahlberg JE, Pedersen NC: Modes of transmission of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus infection. Small Rumin Res. 1993, 10: 251-262. 10.1016/0921-4488(93)90130-A.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Cutlip RC, Lehmkuehl HD, Jackson TA: Intrauterine transmission of ovine progressive pneumonia virus. Am J Vet Rec. 1981, 42: 1795-1797.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  32. Brodie SJ, de la Concha Bermijillo A, Koenig G, Snowder GD, Demartini JC: Maternal factors associated with prenatal transmission of ovine lentivirus. J Infect Dis. 1994, 169: 653-657. 10.1093/infdis/169.3.653.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. Prichard JF, Thibodeaux JK, Pool SH, Blakewood EG, Ménézo Y, Godke RA: In vitro co-culture of early stage caprine embryos with oviduct and uterine epithelial cells. Hum Reprod. 1992, 7: 553-557.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  34. Crozet N, Ahmed-Ali M, Dubos MP: Development competence of goat oocytes from follicles of different size categories following maturation, fertilization and culture in vitro. J Reprod Fertil. 1995, 103: 293-298. 10.1530/jrf.0.1030293.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. Martino A, Mogars T, Palmo MJ, Paramio MT: In vitro maturation and fertilization of prepubertal goat oocytes. Theriogenology. 1995, 43: 473-485. 10.1016/0093-691X(94)00040-2.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  36. Crozet N: Manipulation of oocytes and in vitro fertilization. J Reprod Fertil Suppl. 1991, 43: 235-243.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  37. Galli C, Moor RM: Development of immature bovine oocytes into viable embryos in vitro. Bull Assoc Anat. 1991, 75: 67-71.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  38. Booth PJ, Stevens DA, Collins ME, Brownlie J: Detection of bovine viral diarrhea virus antigen and RNA in oviduct and granulosa cells of persistently infected cattle. J Reprod Fertil. 1995, 105: 17-24. 10.1530/jrf.0.1050017.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  39. Stringfellow DA, Riddell KP, Galik PK, Damiani P, Bishop MD, Wright JC: Quality controls for bovine viral diarrhea virus-free IVF embryos. Theriogenology. 2000, 53: 827-839. 10.1016/S0093-691X(99)00277-0.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  40. Stringfellow DA: Recommendation for the sanitary handling of in vivo-derived embryos. Manual of the international embryo transfer society. Edited by: Stringfellow DA and Seidel SM. 1998, Savoy: IETS, 79-84. 3

    Google Scholar 

  41. Lamara A, Fieni F, Mselli-Lakhal L, Chatagnon G, Bruyas JF, Tainturier D, Battut I, Fornazero C, Chebloune Y: Early embryonic cells from in vivo-produced goat embryos transmit the caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV). Theriogenology. 2002, 58: 1153-63. 10.1016/S0093-691X(02)00950-0.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references


The authors would like to thank Myriam Larrat from Sanitary Security of Reproduction Biotechnology Unit, Oniris, Nantes France, Pr Monique Wyers, Pr Yan cherel, and Mme Lydie Guigand from UMR 703 INRA-Oniris, Dr Jérome Abadie Department of Pathology, Oniris, Nantes, France, François Guiguen, Leila Mselli-Lakhal, Catherine Taverne, and Kathy Gallay from the French National Institute for Agricultural Research for their technical assistance.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Francis Fieni.

Additional information

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors' contributions

FF and MZAAA conceived the study, participated in its design and coordination and wrote the manuscript. LD supervised the immunofluorescence and laser scanning confocal analysis. GC, ZK and MT carried out the sample collection, the PCR analysis and the immunofluorescence preparation and participated in the design. LM and YC carried out the in situ hybridation and the revision of the study. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Authors’ original submitted files for images

Below are the links to the authors’ original submitted files for images.

Authors’ original file for figure 1

Authors’ original file for figure 2

Authors’ original file for figure 3

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Ali Al Ahmad, M.Z., Dubreil, L., Chatagnon, G. et al. Goat uterine epithelial cells are susceptible to infection with Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis Virus (CAEV) in vivo. Vet Res 43, 5 (2012).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: