Emerging risk of malignant catarrhal fever in European bison


  • Jarosław Tomana Veterinary clinic, Pszczyna, Poland
  • Michał K. Krzysiak Białowieża National Park, Białowieża, Poland, Institute of Forest Sciences, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences, Białystok University of Technology, Białystok, Poland
  • Wojciech Socha National Veterinary Research Institute, Puławy, Poland
  • Magdalena Larska National Veterinary Research Institute, Puławy, Poland


malignant catarrhal fever, MCF, gammaherpevirus, risk, European bison


Sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) may be fatal to European bison. The gammaherpesvirus that causes the most devastating MCF is transmitted from asymptomatic, latently infected sheep causing high mortality in large ungulates including E. bison. Therefore, the main risk of contracting MCF is the presence of sheep where the European bison are reared. Not many reports on MCF in the wisent exist, however the high impact on American bison was well documented as reviewed hereby. Quite recently, MCF with high mortality was reported in Switzerland with connection to the introduction of clinically healthy sheep. MCF is present worldwide. Therefore, the knowledge on the risks of MCF in European bison should be spread internationally. We postulate the high relevance of MCF testing in European bison as well as other ruminants reservoirs of the virus including sheep as an important part of Bison bonasus protection strategy.




How to Cite

Tomana, J., Krzysiak, M. K. ., Socha, W., & Larska, M. (2021). Emerging risk of malignant catarrhal fever in European bison. European Bison Conservation Newsletter, 13, 5–10. Retrieved from https://ojs.wisent.org/index.php/czasopismo/article/view/20



Peer-reviewed articles