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Virology. 1995 May 10;209(1):200-6.

Further characterization of border disease virus isolates: evidence for the presence of more than three species within the genus pestivirus.

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Federal Research Centre for Virus Diseases of Animals, Tübingen, Germany.


The molecular analysis of three ovine pestivirus strains revealed the existence of two distinct groups of sheep-derived pestiviruses, namely "true" border disease virus strains (BDV) and bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV)-like strains. As an extension of these studies RT-PCR and nucleotide sequencing of the autoprotease (Npro) and nucleocapsid protein (C) encoding regions of additional serologically defined ovine pestivirus strains were performed. A comparison of Npro and C revealed that three ovine isolates belong to the group of true BDV while two were clearly different from these as well as from BVDV and CSFV. The amino acid identity between the latter two ovine strains is 85% for Npro and 92% for C and thus similar to values found within the three pestivirus species defined so far. In order to allow comparison with additional pestiviruses the nucleotide sequences of a part of the 5' noncoding region were determined for the ovine pestivirus strains. The comparative analysis showed that recently described BVDV strains associated with acute lethal infection were very similar to two ovine isolates. The latter represent a fourth group within the genus pestivirus different from the so far defined pestivirus species BVDV, true BDV, and CSFV. The data lead to the question whether the current nomenclature of pestivirus species according to the host origin and the induced diseases is still appropriate.

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