Acta Vet. Brno 2009, 78: 477-481

Serum Alpha-fetoprotein in Rabbits Experimentally Infected with Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus

Sheng-Yi Chen, Jui-Hung Shien, Hong Kean Ooi

Department of Veterinary Medicine, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung city, Taiwan, Republic of China (R.O.C.)

Received January 24, 2008
Accepted May 18, 2009

To investigate the change in serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and its correlation with liver enzymes in hepatitis caused by rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV), 15-week-old rabbits were experimentally infected with a Taiwan field isolate of the virus. After RHDV inoculation, it was observed that serum AFP increased significantly (p = 0.0082) together with significant elevation in serum aspartate amino transferase (AST), alanine amino transferase (ALT), γ-glutamyl transferase (γ-GT) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP). Rabbits that died tended to have high AFP values prior to death, the mean value being 4.22 ± 1.61 ng/ml (n = 6). By correlation analysis, AFP significantly correlated more strongly to ALP than γ-GT, but non-significantly with AST and ALT. This is the first report of serum AFP elevation being associated with RHDV infection. Thus, measurement of serum AFP might be a useful complementary index for RHDV infectivity and prognosis.