CAE By Merck Manuals

Caprine arthritis and encephalitis (CAE, see Caprine Arthritis and Encephalitis) virus has emerged as an important infectious agent of intensively raised dairy goats, but all breeds of goats are susceptible to this retrovirus. CAE infection in goats can manifest in numerous ways: subclinical, persistent infection; a progressive paresis of young goats 2–12 mo old; agalactia with a firm, noninflamed udder at parturition in bred females; or an arthritic condition with pain and swollen joints in adults. A chronic, progressive interstitial pneumonia or a wasting syndrome may also be seen in adults. CAE infection has been considered primarily to be spread from dam to offspring through virus-laden colostrum and milk, and control programs have been aimed at separating the newborns from the adult population and feeding heat-treated colostrum and pasteurized milk. Infection may persist in herds in which this is practiced due to horizontal transmission between adults. Regular testing and rigorous culling of all seropositive goats, or strict segregation of seropositive and seronegative goats, must be practiced if disease eradication is the goal.