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Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE)

Caprine Arthritis Encephalitis (CAE) is a disease of goats caused by a retrovirus which is closely related to the OPP virus of sheep. As in sheep, there is no known cure. Clinically infected goats often develop arthritis of the knees resulting in swollen, painful joints. Young goats may also exhibit a neurological syndrome consisting of progressive paralysis and other symptoms of brain involvement. It is important to note that many infected goats never show significant symptoms. Although these "carrier" animals remain asymptomatic, they are a source of infection for other goats in the herd.
The economic effects of CAE in goat herds are loss of up to 25-30% in milk production, early culling, a shorter life span and reduced growth of offspring

The primary source of infection is through the colostrum and milk. Rarely direct transmission can occur through animal contact. In utero infection (i.e. doe to unborn kid) is not common. Since a vaccine is not available, identification of positive animals followed by isolation and/or culling is the most effective method to control spread of the disease. Additionally, heat treatment of colostrum and milk to kill virus has been used extensively to break the cycle of doe to kid infection.

Control programs should include testing the entire herd every six months until 2 consecutive negative tests are achieved. Subsequently, annual herd testing should be performed to prevent re infection of the herd. Any new additions to the herd should be tested and found negative, or come from herds that are proven to be free of CAE.

The PAVL ELISA test for CAE utilizes 2 detection antigens for increased sensitivity. The first antigen is a recombinant protein developed at the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center which is particularly suited for detecting recently infected animals. The second is a synthetic peptide antigen developed in conjunction with research done at the Pasteur Institute, Paris, France. This antigen provides the best sensitivity for chronic infection and is a good predictor for which animals will develop arthritis.

In addition to the blood test for CAE, PAVL is able to test colostrum samples for CAE. The high concentration of antibodies in colostrum increases the detection capability of the test and makes sample collection very convenient.
 

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Is there some reason why a vaccine has not been developed? I know that goats aren't a priority in agricultural research in this country (although that has been changing), but I would think that they would be a priority in other countries. Is it likely that a vaccine will be developed at some point in the near future?
 

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Sadly, NO. There simply isn't the funding for this retro-virus. OPP in sheep is much more dibilatating and costly to the economy. With the AIDS virus and these virus's being very similar, all we can really hope for is treating, and eraticating this ourselves. All we want is better diagnostic tests. PCR is a step, but certainly not the tool we all thought it was going to be. Vicki
 
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Vicki,

I just think it's great, your getting the word out there about CAE. You know, I went tonight to look at buying some meat goats. First question out of my mouth,"Can you show me the paper work stating these animals are CAE free?" "What's CAE?" the lady said. OK. This is something everyone in the goat world needs to know about. It made me feel good to be able to explain it to her.
Angie
 

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One of our twin yearlings kidded with 2 buck kids and a rock hard udder. We are letting them nurse on another doe. Will the good doe get CAE this way? We plan to cull both twins as soon as the other kids. Thanks. Narita
 

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Noni said:
I just think it's great, your getting the word out there about CAE. You know, I went tonight to look at buying some meat goats. First question out of my mouth,"Can you show me the paper work stating these animals are CAE free?" "What's CAE?" the lady said. OK.
You are exactly right. This spring I have been going to farms looking at boers. Asking the breeders about CAE is what I always do, but it seems to not be a priority in meat goats as it is in dairy. I don't know why -- if you are setting up a breeding program it should be important, imho. But it seems that testing for CL is more important to boer breeders as it could seriously taint a shipment of market goats.
There is one farm just a mile from my house that raises boers. I had wanted to get goats from them because of their proximity, but they have a lot of lamancha blood in their line (!) and **obvious** signs of CAE: lots of goats with swollen joints, one doe so lame she could not even use her front legs.
I did end up buying some boers from a farm that did not CAE test. But their goats looked very healthy to me. I know I know, CAE often has no symptoms and many goats are carriers. I simply could not find any breeders in my area who tested!
They will be coming to my place in August as they are still tiny kids.
 

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I can see why dairy breeders would be very concerned,not that anyone would want to suffer through CAE. Do you think the meat breeders are less concerned because their kids are usually consumed before any symptoms would affect them?

I would guess that means CAE is not transfereable to humans?
 

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This may sound like a strange and possibly stupid question but I am very new to goats. Does CAE affect milk that is for human consumption making it unsafe to drink? Along those lines, will the milk be unsafe for dogs to drink? :help:
 

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CAE does not affect humans or dogs by drinking raw milk. Most commercial dairies don't bother testing for it, and in some states, they are allowed to sell raw milk. We test our goats because we don't want our baby goats getting it. A vet I spoke with says the real reason they are not working on a vaccine for CAE is because humans can't get it.
 

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That link is not valid as of 10/2007.
 

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A hypothetical small herd.

You have tested for CAE four times over a two year period. All four times have come back negative. You have a completely closed herd. If you keep your herd completely closed and do not have any outside contact, can you pretty much rest assured that your herd will *stay* CAE free?

Same hypothetical small herd, but testing for CL. After four negative CL test, can you pretty much feel that your herd will stay free of it? As long as you keep it closed?

Off the wall question not related: Are there AI things for goats yet?

Thank you and peace to your and yours.
 

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$6 self 45 plus for a vet
 

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One of my neighbors breeds, sells, milks, and shows Nigies. When asked about CAE she said "What is that?". Kind of scarey.
 
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