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Close Relationship of Ruminant Pestiviruses and Classical Swine Fever Virus - Volume 21, Number 4—April 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC


Close Relationship of Ruminant Pestiviruses and Classical Swine Fever Virus - Volume 21, Number 4—April 2015 - Emerging Infectious Disease journal - CDC

Volume 21, Number 4—April 2015


Close Relationship of Ruminant Pestiviruses and Classical Swine Fever Virus

Alexander Postel, Stefanie Schmeiser, Tuba Cigdem Oguzoglu, Daniela Indenbirken, Malik Alawi, Nicole Fischer, Adam Grundhoff, and Paul BecherComments to Author 
Author affiliations: University of Veterinary Medicine, Hannover, Germany (A. Postel, S. Schmeiser, P. Becher);Ankara Üniversitesi Veteriner Fakültesi Viroloji Anabilim Dalı Dışkapı, Ankara, Turkey (T.C. Oguzoglu)Heinrich Pette Institute–Leibniz Institute for Experimental Virology, Hamburg, Germany (D. Indenbirken, M. Alawi, A. Grundhoff)University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg (M. Alawi, N. Fischer)German Center for Infection Research Hamburg-Lübeck-Borstel, Hamburg (N. Fischer, A. Grundhoff)German Center for Infection Research Hannover-Braunschweig, Hannover (P. Becher)


To determine why serum from small ruminants infected with ruminant pestiviruses reacted positively to classical swine fever virus (CSFV)–specific diagnostic tests, we analyzed 2 pestiviruses from Turkey. They differed genetically and antigenically from known Pestivirus species and were closely related to CSFV. Cross-reactions would interfere with classical swine fever diagnosis in pigs.
Pestiviruses are enveloped viruses within the family Flaviviridae that have a highly variable single-stranded positive-sense RNA genome of ≈12.3 kb (1). The genus Pestivirus comprises the established species bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV)–1, BVDV-2, border disease virus (BDV), and classical swine fever virus (CSFV), as well as a growing number of additional tentative Pestivirus species. CSFV is the causative agent for classical swine fever, which is notifiable to the World Organisation of Animal Health because it is highly contagious and can cause great loss of pigs (24). For a given country, CSFV-positive status severely diminishes international trade of pigs and pig products. Accordingly, because of cross-reacting antibodies, infections of pigs (nonruminants) with ruminant pestiviruses, which occasionally occur under natural conditions, can cause serious problems with regard to serologic diagnosis of classical swine fever (5).
In Turkey, 2 pestiviruses, Aydin/04 and Burdur/05, have been isolated from a sheep and a goat with clinical signs of border disease (6). A detailed genetic and antigenic characterization revealed that these 2 isolates must be regarded as representatives of a new Pestivirus species that is closely related to CSFV and can cause serious diagnostic problems in established CSFV serology.

Dr. Postel is a veterinarian and head of the Laboratory for Molecular Biology of the European Union and World Organisation for Animal Health Reference Laboratory for Classical Swine Fever at the Institute of Virology of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Hannover, Germany. His research interests are molecular evolution of pestiviruses, characterization of novel pestivirus isolates, and diagnosis and control of classical swine fever.


We are grateful to Alexandra Beckmann, Gabriele Müller, and Karin Ruthenberg for excellent technical assistance and to Monika Berg, Holger Mosch, and Günter Thiem for their outstanding support in the animal experiment.
This work was supported by the Directorate-General for Health and Consumers of the European Commission and by grants BE-2333/2-1 and -2 of the German Research Council (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft). P.B. was supported by a Heisenberg professorship (BE-2333-1/1 and 1/2) from the German Research Council. Sample material was gained in the framework of the projects TÜBİTAK VHAG 2099 and AU BAP 2005 0810 071. The funding sources had no influence on the study design or data presented.


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Suggested citation for this article: Postel A, Schmeiser S, Oguzoglu TC, Indenbirken D, Alawi M, Fischer N, et al. Close relationship of ruminant pestiviruses and classical swine fever virus. Emerg Infect Dis. 2015 Apr [date cited]. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2104.141441
DOI: 10.3201/eid2104.141441

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