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Vertical transmission of bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) in mousedeer (Tragulus javanicus) and spread to domestic cattle

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This study investigates the transmission of bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) 1f from a persistently infected (PI) lesser Malayan mousedeer to two bovine calves. Different contact routes to two calves were analysed: 1) aerosol contact between two adjacent pens without physical contact; 2) indirect contact by use of common utensils; 3) direct nose-to-nose contact for 30 seconds. One of the calves was infected either by aerosol or indirect contact. The virus sequence in 247 nucleotides in the 5′-UTR was 100% identical in mousedeer and calf.

To elucidate the distribution of BVDV within the affected mousedeer family the captive population in a Zoo was analysed. The maternal line of PI animals was maintained, whereas a PI male was able to reproduce and have a non-PI calf. As a consequence of this, six female PI mousedeer were killed; subsequent autopsies did not reveal any lesions. Sequencing mousedeer BVD virus in the E2 region (420 nucleotides) through 4 generations showed only 7 mutations, which were maintained from mother to offspring.

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Uttenthal, Å., Hoyer, M., Grøndahl, C. et al. Vertical transmission of bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) in mousedeer (Tragulus javanicus) and spread to domestic cattle. Arch Virol 151, 2377–2387 (2006).

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