- Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) is an economically important pathogen of cattle worldwide. Infection of a pregnant animal may lead to persistent infection of the foetus and birth of a persistently infected (PI) calf that sheds the virus throughout its life. However, BVD viruses are not strictly species specific. BVDV has been isolated from many domesticated and wild ruminants. This is of practical importance as virus reservoirs in non-bovine hosts may hamper BVDV control in cattle. A goat given as a social companion to a BVDV PI calf gave birth to a PI goat kid. In order to test if goat to goat infections were possible, seronegative pregnant goats were exposed to the PI goat. In parallel, seronegative pregnant goats were kept together with the PI calf. Only the goat to goat transmission resulted in the birth of a next generation of BVDV PI kids whereas all goats kept together with the PI calf aborted. To our knowledge, this is the first report which shows that a PI goat cannot only transmit BVD virus to other goats but that such transmission may indeed lead to the birth of a second generation of PI goats. Genetic analyses indicated that establishment in the new host species may be associated with step-wise adaptations in the viral genome. Thus, goats have the potential to be a reservoir for BVDV. However, the PI goats showed growth retardation and anaemia and their survival under natural conditions remains questionable.
- Infections with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) of the genus pestivirus, family Flaviviridae, are not limited to cattle but occur in various artiodactyls. Persistently infected (PI) cattle are the main source of BVDV. Persistent infections also occur in heterologous hosts such as sheep and deer. BVDV infections of goats commonly result in reproductive disease, but viable PI goats are rare. Using 2 BVDV isolates, previously demonstrated to cause PI cattle and white-tailed deer, this study evaluated the outcome of experimental infection of pregnant goats. Pregnant goats (5 goats/group) were intranasally inoculated with BVDV 1b AU526 (group 1) or BVDV 2 PA131 (group 2) at approximately 25–35 days of gestation. The outcome of infection varied considerably between groups. In group 1, only 3 does became viremic, and 1 doe gave birth to a stillborn fetus and a viable PI kid, which appeared healthy and shed BVDV continuously. In group 2, all does became viremic, 4/5 does aborted, and 1 doe gave birth to a non-viable PI kid. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated BVDV antigen in tissues of evaluated fetuses, with similar distribution but reduced intensity as compared to cattle. The genetic sequence of inoculated viruses was compared to those from PI kids and their dam. Most nucleotide changes in group 1 were present during the dam’s acute infection. In group 2, a similar number of mutations resulted from fetal infection as from maternal acute infection. Results demonstrated that BVDV may cause reproductive disease but may also be maintained in goats.
- Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) is an emerging disease in both New World Camelids (NWCs) and Old World Camelids (OWCs). The virus has been isolated from NWCs particularly in alpacas and dromedaries, but there are no reports of BVD in Bactrians. BVD is an important infectious disease. Both sub-genotypes 1a, 1b and genotype 2 have been isolated from NWCs but the ncp BVDV 1b is primarily implicated in cases of BVD in NWCs. A BVD strain unique to camelids has not yet been isolated. In NWCs virtually all infections have been caused by the non-cytopathic (ncp) BVDV, Persistently infected crias have also been detected. Llamas and alpacas demonstrate clinical signs such as ill thrift, diarrhea, respiratory ailments and abortions. As in bovines, identification and elimination of PI animals, has the highest priority to avoid infection of the entire herd. BVD was also observed in dromedaries and interestingly, both genotypes of the Pestivirus, BVDV-1 and BVDV-2, were isolated from dromedaries in Egypt. Both isolates revealed a cytopathic effect (cpe) and so far no ncp virus has been isolated from dromedaries. Also in dromedaries, BVD infections caused intrauterine death, stillbirth, weak calf syndrome with congenital deformities, neonatal respiratory disorders in young dromedary calves and acute hemorrhagic gastroenteritis in adult dromedaries. So far, no PI dromedaries have been described.
- Clinical evidence demonstrates that alpacas may contract and propagate bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV). The objective of this research was to compare and characterize clinical signs, hematological findings, viremia, and seroconversion resulting from intranasal inoculation of alpacas with BVDV 1b and BVDV 2 isolates from cattle and a BVDV 1b isolate of alpaca origin. Three groups of six alpacas were intranasally inoculated with a different isolate (Group 1: BVDV 1b of bovine origin; Group 2: BVDV 2 of bovine origin; Group 3: BVDV 1b of alpaca origin). Following inoculation, all three genotypes induced viremia, nasal shedding and seroconversion in naïve alpacas. The onset of viral detection in serum was significantly different among groups; the median onset was 4, 2, and 7 days for Groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Onset of viral detection in white blood cells was significantly different with median onset at 3, 2, and 4 days, and median cessation at 13, 9, and 13 days, respectively. The median onset of viral nasal shedding was 8 days and was not significantly different between groups. Virus was detected after inoculation until a median of 8 days in nasal secretions, 10 days in serum, and 12 days in white blood cells. A reduction in mean total leukocytes was observed in all three groups when compared to pre-inoculation leukograms. Results demonstrate that BVDV 1b and 2 strains cause alpacas to exhibit viremia and nasal shedding of virus in a temporal pattern that is similar to the outcome of acute infection of cattle.
- Infections with BVDVs result in major economic losses for beef and dairy producers worldwide. The success of control efforts in Scandinavia has led to a consensus that BVDV eradication in Europe is a realistic goal.