Bovine Leukemia Virus: Past, Present and Future
Enzootic bovine leukemia has been perceived as an infectious cancer since about 50 years. Appearance of tumor cases has been linked to introduction, in a naïve herd, of animals coming from a “tumor case” herd and experimental transmission experiments easily showed that an agent was indeed most probably involved. The exact nature of the agent remained elusive until 1969, when Miller and coworkers (1) observed virus particles in short term cultures of lymphocytes from animals in persistent lymphocytosis, a condition frequently associated with increased risk of leukemia. Since 1969, the virus itself, its host-range and mode of propagation, its interactions with the host and ways of leukemogenesis, ... have been the subject of intense investigation. The nucleotide sequence of several BLV proviruses is now known, thus allowing deep insight to be gained into virus integration and expression and hypotheses to be put forward about putative modes of action. Times are now ripe and the tools are available to undertake a detailed analysis of the chain of events that starts at infection and ends with full blow of the tumor phase. It had been observed, already in 1972 (2), that BLV behaved as a separate entity from the then known retroviruses.
KeywordsLymphoma Leukemia Polysaccharide Electrophoresis Proline
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