Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF)

Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF)

Species: Bovine, cervine, swamp buffalo

Specimen:  Whole blood or clots from serum tube. Heart blood from dead animals.

Container: EDTA tube

Collection protocol: Venepuncture

Special handling/shipping requirements: Standard

General information about the disease:

Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a systemic viral disease caused by sheep-associated ovine herpes virus-2 (OHV-2) affecting cattle, deer and swamp buffalo.  Cases can present with head and eye, peracute and mild forms of disease and there is usually a markedly elevated rectal temperature. The head and eye form of disease includes central nervous disease, ocular, nasal or oral lesions.  There may also be diarrhoea, weight loss or respiratory disease. 

General information about when this test is indicated:

A common lesion in the eye is corneal opacity. Affected animals are also likely to be pyrexic with markedly elevated rectal temperatures as high as 42oC. Many animals will have oral or nasal lesions as well but some animals will present with only one set of symptoms, such as neurological signs or ill thrift.  Cases of; oral lesions only, lymph node swelling only, and skin lesions only, are also possible so it is important to keep MCF in your differential list for many conditions, and consider further testing if other diagnoses are ruled out.   

Comparison with other related tests:  Clinical signs and histopathology can be used to diagnose the disease