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Isolation and Full-Length Sequence Analysis of a Pestivirus from Aborted Lamb Fetuses in Italy

Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia Romagna “Bruno Ubertini” (IZSLER), Via Antonio Bianchi 7/9, 25124 Brescia, Italy
Veterinary practitioner, Via Luigi Einaudi 35, 24049 Verdello (BG), Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(8), 744;
Received: 24 July 2019 / Revised: 8 August 2019 / Accepted: 10 August 2019 / Published: 13 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Emerging Viruses: Surveillance, Prevention, Evolution and Control)
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Pestiviruses are distributed worldwide and are responsible for a variety of economically important diseases. They are not very host-specific, and thus sheep can be infected by well-known pestiviruses like bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) and border disease virus (BDV), as well as by other recently discovered pestivirus species. The aim of this study is to describe the isolation and characterization of four pestivirus strains detected in aborted lamb fetuses from a single farm in the Brescia province (Northern Italy). A total of twelve aborted fetuses were collected and examined. After necropsy, organs were tested for the presence of infectious agents known as potential causes of abortion (Brucella spp., Listeria spp., Coxiella burnetii, Chlamydophila spp., Mycoplasma spp., Neospora caninum, and Toxoplasma gondii), and submitted to viral identification by isolation on Madin Darby bovine kidney (MDBK) cell culture and by PCR assay for Schmallenberg virus and pan-pestivirus RT-PCR real time assay. Three viral strains (Ovine/IT/1756/2017, Ovine/IT/338710-2/2017, and Ovine/IT/338710-3/2017) were isolated in the absence of cytopathic effects (CPEs) in cell cultures and identified with RT-PCR. Another pestivirus strain (Ovine/IT/16235-2/2018) was detected by PCR, but was not successfully isolated. Complete sequence genomic data of the three isolated viruses showed that they were highly similar, differed genetically from known pestivirus species, and were closely related to classical swine fever virus (CSFV). Beyond the identification of new ovine pestiviruses, this study indicates that a systematic diagnostic approach is important to identify the presence and map the distribution of both known and emerging pestiviruses. View Full-Text
Keywords: pestivirus; phylogenetic analysis; sheep; Italy; aborted fetus pestivirus; phylogenetic analysis; sheep; Italy; aborted fetus

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Sozzi, E.; Lavazza, A.; Gaffuri, A.; Bencetti, F.C.; Prosperi, A.; Lelli, D.; Chiapponi, C.; Moreno, A. Isolation and Full-Length Sequence Analysis of a Pestivirus from Aborted Lamb Fetuses in Italy. Viruses 2019, 11, 744.

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