Seroprevalence of ovine progressive pneumonia virus in sheep in the United States as assessed by analyses of voluntarily submitted samples

Am J Vet Res. 1992 Jun;53(6):976-9.


Ovine progressive pneumonia (OPP) is a lentivirus-induced disease of sheep in the United States that is similar, if not identical, to maedi/visna in many other countries. Prevalence estimates of seropositivity to this virus in sheep in the United States have been confined to limited groups or flocks of sheep and have varied from 1 to 90%. In this study of detection of antibodies against OPP virus, we found a lower general prevalence of antibodies to OPP virus in sheep than was previously reported. Of 16,827 sheep from 29 states in the United States, 26% were seropositive and 48% of 164 flocks that were tested had 1 or more seropositive sheep. Seropositivity to OPP virus for sheep within special categories was determined, although nonrandom samples that were available may have biased the results. Within regions of the United States, prevalence was highest in the Rocky Mountain region at 49% and lowest in the northern Atlantic region at 9%. Seropositive sheep were not evenly distributed among flocks, but were clustered in a few flocks of sheep. A high number of flocks had no or few seropositive sheep. Prevalence increased with age from 4% at less than 1 year to a plateau of 34% at 4 years. Seropositivity was variable among breeds and was not associated with sex, wool class, or place of origin of ancestors.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Viral / blood*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Pneumonia, Progressive Interstitial, of Sheep / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Sheep
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Visna-maedi virus / immunology*


  • Antibodies, Viral