Small ruminant lentiviruses, caprine arthritis encephalitis virus, and Maedi-Visna virus cause diseases that result in significant productive losses, mostly in dairy animals. These viruses belong to the Retroviridae family, Lentivirus genus, and constitute a heterogeneous group, which may generate implications for the diagnosis and control of small ruminant lentiviruses. Losses caused by them are associated with reproductive failure, short productive life, and decreased milk production by the infected animals. In addition, these viruses may reduce milk quality, affecting the production of dairy products such as cheese. Small ruminant lentiviruses lead to indirect losses, decreasing herd value and forcing the development of epidemiological trade barriers for animal germplasm. Control of small ruminant lentiviruses is important to promote optimal milk production and to reduce costs with medicine and technical assistance. This control may vary in caprine and ovine populations of each country, according to seroprevalence, variety of breeds, and peculiarities of the practiced management.
production losses; small ruminant lentiviruses; control