Also known as Big knee and Caprine retrovirus infection
The Caprine arthritis and encephalitis (CAE) virus is a lentivirus (slow virus) in the family Retroviridae. CAE virus infection is widespread in dairy goat breeds. Most goats acquire the infection at an early age and they remain infected for life. Only a proportion develop clinical disease months to years later. CAE is primarily transmitted through ingestion of virus-infected colostrum or milk; however horizontal transmission also occurs by direct animal contact or contaminated fomites.
CAE virus infection in kids from one to six months old may result in encephalomyelitis and includes clinical signs of posterior weakness and ataxia progressing to paralysis. Arthritis occurs predominantly in adult goats and is most noticeable in the carpal joints, giving rise to the term ‘big knee’. Clinical signs in adult animals may include lameness, ill thrift, weight loss, viral and indurative mastitis (‘hard udder’) and chronic progressive pneumonia.
Diagnosis is supported by history, clinical signs, viral serology and histopathology.
Since the majority of infected animals are subclinical, viral serology is the preferred method for detecting infection in individual goats and herds. A positive viral serology result infers infection, but does not confirm that the clinical signs are caused by CAE virus.
Histopathology can assist in providing a definitive diagnosis.
Days of the week test is conducted
Caprine arthritis and encephalitis virus antibody ELISA
Clotted blood (red top tube)
Batch tested weekly
Up to 7 days
Up to 2 weeks for brain samples. Up to 5 days for all other sample types.
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