Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) is a member of the genus Pestivirus that belongs to the family Flaviviridae. BVDV is found worldwide in cattle population and causes significant economic losses to the dairy and beef industries. Two distinct genotypes of BVDV exist: BVDV type 1 (BVDV-1) and BVDV type 2 (BVDV-2).
The aim of the present study was to investigate retrospectively the presence of BVDV-2 in Spain.
With this objective, 47 blood samples that had tested positive in an ELISA for BVDV antigen were selected. Samples had been submitted by practitioners to the Diagnostic Service of NEIKER. The 18 herds of origin were all located in the northern half of Spain. BVDV positive samples were genotyped by reverse transcription-PCR. BVDV-1 was detected with the highest frequency (46/47), in contrast to BVDV-2 (2/47). In one blood sample, both pestivirus genotypes, BVDV-1 and BVDV-2, were detected. Sequencing of a viral genomic region, 50 untranslated region, confirmed the identity of the BVDV-2 isolate.
Conclusions: So far as the authors know, this is the first reported presence of BVDV-2 in cattle herds in Spain. This finding may have important implications for the epidemiology, diagnosis and control of BVDV infection in the country.
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