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Lack of evidence for the presence of emerging HoBi-like viruses in North American fetal bovine serum lots

Fernando V. Bauermann, Eduardo F. Flores, Shollie M. Falkenberg, Rudi Weiblen, Julia F. Ridpath
Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation v.26 no.1 pp. 10-17
fetal bovine serum, neutralization, sampling, antigens, neutralization tests, emerging diseases, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, viruses, Bovine viral diarrhea virus 1, neutralizing antibodies, screening, detection, United States, Europe
The detection of an emerging pestivirus species, “HoBi-like virus,” in fetal bovine serum (FBS) labeled as U.S. origin, but packaged in Europe, raised concerns that HoBi-like virus may have entered the United States. In the current study, 90 lots of FBS originating in North America (NA) were screened for pestivirus antigen and antibodies. Lots in group 1 (G1, 72 samples) and group 2 (G2, 9 samples) originated in NA and were packaged in the United States. Group 3 (G3) was composed of 9 lots collected in NA and processed in Europe. Lots in G1 were claimed negative for Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), while lots in G2 and G3 were claimed positive by the commercial processor. All lots in G1 and G2 tested negative by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using HoBi-like–specific primers. Two G1 lots tested positive by BVDV RT-PCR. One of these was also positive by virus isolation. All G2 lots were positive by BVDV RT-PCR. In addition, four G2 lots were VI positive while 1 lot was antigen-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) positive. Two G3 lots were positive by HoBi-like–specific RT-PCR tests. All lots were negative for HoBi_D32/00 neutralizing antibodies. Seven lots (4 G1; 1 G2; 2 G3) had antibodies against BVDV by virus neutralization and/or antigen-capture ELISA. While there is no evidence of HoBi-like viruses in NA based on tested samples, further studies are required to validate HoBi-like virus–free status and develop means to prevent the spread of HoBi-like virus into NA.