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Borna disease virus (BDV) predominantly infects horses and sheep, causing a broad range of behavioural disorders. It is controversial whether BDV infects humans and causes psychiatric disorders.
We searched for BDV-derived nucleic acids in blood of race horses and jockeys riding the horses.
We assayed for the BDV genome in RNA extracted from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 39 race horses and 48 jockeys. Two polymerase chain reaction protocols [one-tube reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and two-step RT-PCR] were used to assay BDV p24 and p40 transcripts.
The p24 and p40 viral nucleic acid sequences were not detected in the PBMC RNAs from any of the race horses or jockeys.
These data do not support an epidemiological association between BDV infection, race horses and humans.
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