Stiftung Tierärztliche Hochschule Hannover (TiHo)

Comparative analysis of Tunisian sheep-like virus, Bungowannah virus and border disease virus infection in the porcine host

Abstract

Apart from the established pestivirus species Pestivirus A to Pestivirus K novel species emerged. Pigs represent not only hosts for porcine pestiviruses, but are also susceptible to bovine viral diarrhea virus, border disease virus (BDV) and other ruminant pestiviruses. The present study focused on the characterization of the ovine Tunisian sheep-like virus (TSV) as well as Bungowannah virus (BuPV) and BDV strain Frijters, which were isolated from pigs. For this purpose, we performed genetic characterization based on complete coding sequences, studies on virus replication in cell culture and in domestic pigs, and cross-neutralization assays using experimentally derived sera. TSV forms a distinct phylogenetic group more closely related to Pestivirus C (classical swine fever virus, CSFV) than to Pestivirus D (BDV). In contrast to BDV and BuPV, TSV replicates by far more efficiently on ovine than on porcine cells. Nevertheless, pigs were susceptible to TSV. As a consequence of close antigenic relatedness of TSV to CSFV, cross-reactivity was detected in CSFV-specific antibody assays. In conclusion, TSV is genetically closely related to CSFV and can replicate in domestic pigs. Due to close antigenic relatedness, field infections of pigs with TSV and other ruminant pestiviruses can interfere with serological diagnosis of classical swine fever.

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