Vesicular Stomatitis Virus

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Vesicular Stomatitis Virus

Virus Vesicular Stomatitis Virus
Structure Enveloped
Genome Single stranded RNA, negative sense
Family Rhabdoviridae
Primary Host Horses and cattle
Disease(s) Caused Vesicular stomatitis
Symptoms Excessive salivation, oral and teat lesions, lameness
Potential Complications Secondary bacterial infections, weight loss
Transmission Mode Insects, contact with with infected animals, contact with contaminated feed/water
Sites of Community Outbreaks Farms, ranches
Importance of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus

Vesicular Stomatitis Virus (VSV) is an enveloped member of the Rhabdoviridae family. VSV primarily affects horses and cattle but is also known to infect humans.

VSV causes vesicular stomatitis, a disease that appears similar to foot-and-mouth disease and swine vesicular disease, both foreign to the USA. Symptoms include lesions on or in the mouth, nostrils, and teats. These lesions can break, resulting in oral pain which leads to loss of weight and lameness. In dairy cattle, lesions on the teats can lead to mastitis which results in a drop in milk production. In the absence of secondary infections, animals recover in about 2 weeks. In humans, it causes an acute illness similar to influenza with symptoms including body aches, fever, and lethargy.

VSV can have serious economic consequences. Cases of VSV must be reported to the USDA. Animals from an affected ranch or farm cannot be moved from the premises. This can disrupt training and race schedules for horses and sales for cattle. Affected animals should be isolated in stables. The quarantine lasts for 21 days after the last lesion has healed. Weight loss and mastitis can contribute to a reduction of profit. In one study of 2 dairy farms affected by VSV, the monetary loss was placed at $225,000 during the 2-month period of the outbreak.

Importance of Disinfection: Survival of Vesicular Stomatitis Virus on Surfaces and Potential for Transmission via Fomites.

Transmission of VSV may be initiated by an insect vector. The disease may then spread within a herd by contact with fluid from lesions. Human infection is rare, but proper precautions should still be taken when handling sick animals.

As an enveloped virus, VSV is sensitive to inactivation by environmental factors, such as temperature and humidity. VSV is sensitive to a wide range of disinfectants. A study found that a 0.03% chlorine solution, a 0.0075% iodine solution, and 0.003% quaternary ammonium solution were able to completely inactivate VSV at a 10 minute contact time.

  • Goodger, W. J., et al. “Economic impact of an epizootic of bovine vesicular stomatitis in California.” Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 186.4 (1985): 370.
  • SHIRAI, Junsuke, et al. “Effects of chlorine, iodine, and quaternary ammonium compound disinfectants on several exotic disease viruses.”Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 62.1 (2000): 85-92.
  • United States of America. USDA. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Vesicular Stomatitis Fact Sheet. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, May 2012. Web.