Borna disease virus and its role in the pathology of animals and humans

  • A. O. Mikheev Bukovinian State Medical University
Keywords: zoonoses, infectious diseases, Bornaviruses, diseases of humans and animals


Infectious diseases that are caused by numerous pathogenic microorganisms – bacteria, viruses, protozoa or fungi – can be transmitted from patients or carriers to healthy people or animals. A large group of infectious disease is caused by pathogens of animal infections – zoonoses. The issue of zoonoses is of great significance in human pathology and requires comprehensive study. This is of particular relevance to Ukraine, as the question of prevalence, level within the population and threats to human life and health from zoonoses, though highly important, has remained insufficiently studied. Information about many of these pathogens is absent in the existing scientific literature accessible in Ukraine – both veterinary and medical. This applies, in particular, to a causative agent of viral zoonoses the Borna disease virus or Bornavirus. For this purpose, an analysis of the literature concerning the role of the Bornavirus in the pathology of animals and humans was conducted. It is well known that a large number of pathogens of animal infections (zoonoses), including viral, pose a potential threat to human health. Among these potential threats is the Borna disease virus belonging to the family of Bornaviridae, order Mononegavirales. This order includes representatives of deadly human diseases like rabies (family Rhabdoviridae), Ebola virus (family Filoviridae) and Nipah virus (family Paramyxoviridae). Borna virus disease affects mainly mammals, but can infect birds and even reptiles (Aspid bornavirus). It is established that Bornaviruses have a wide range of natural hosts (horses, sheeps, cats, bats and various birds), including domestic animals, which poses a potential threat to human health. This is evidenced by numerous, although contradictory, research into the role of the Borna disease virus in human pathologies such as schizophrenia, depression, prolonged fatigue syndrome, multiple sclerosis and others. Analysis of the literature clearly shows the important role of the Borna disease virus in a variety of mental and behavioural changes in animals, both wild and domestic. However, the large amount of contradictory data and studies cannot yet provide a clear picture of the role of this virus in human pathology. On the one hand, there are clear data of the presence of RNA of the Bourna disease virus and antibodies to it in patients with psychoneurotic changes. On the other, there is no clear understanding of the infectivity of the virus in humans and its transmission from animals to humans and from person to person. These questions require further research and comprehensive study, particularly on the territory of Ukraine. 


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How to Cite
Mikheev, A. O. (2017). Borna disease virus and its role in the pathology of animals and humans. Regulatory Mechanisms in Biosystems, 8(1), 3-10.