Epidemiologic and molecular analysis of sarcoid cases in a herd of donkeys in Northern Italy

When conducted: 
1 October 2011 - 1 February 2013
Il Rifugio degli Asinelli
Core methodology: 
Samples collected in 2011 and 2012 (skin scurf, swabs, tumour material, hair roots, insect tissue) from affected (n=13), possibly affected (n=5) and unaffected (n=26) donkeys, PCR sequencing to isolate BPV DNA. 20 tabanid flies collected from locality for dissection and further processing including DNA purification, homogenization or mounting on slides.
To investigate; 1.1) the link between current sarcoid cases and BPV -1/2 1.2) if clinically healthy animals are infected with the virus 1.3) using viral sequence analysis, to investigate if the disease is transmitted between animals 1.4) if the caseload constitutes an outbreak and constitutes a true epidemic and can a viral source be identified 2.1) can viral DNA and/or virus like structures be detected in affected individuals 2.2) do lesion-derived BPV DNA isolates harbour the same genetic variants 2.3) whether scurf obtained from BPV –positive animals as well as grooming kits harbour virion-like structures/virions 2.4) whether flying insects; particularly tabanid flies, feeding on lesions harbour virion-like structures/virions 2.5) analyse sarcoid epidermis for the presence of viral protein and virion-like structures.