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Comparison of the breadth and complexity of bovine viral diarrhea (BVDV) populations circulating in 34 persistently infected cattle generated in one outbreak

J.F. Ridpath, D.O. Bayles, J.D. Neill, S.M. Falkenberg, F.V. Bauermann, L. Holler, L.J. Braun, D.B. Young, S.E. Kane, C.C.L. Chase
Virology 2015 v.485 pp. 297-304
RNA, bovine viral diarrhea, cattle, congenital abnormalities, cytokines, disease outbreaks, disease transmission, genome, host strains, immune response, inoculum, leukocytes, phenotype, pregnancy, swarms, viruses
Exposure to bovine viral diarrhea viruses (BVDV) results in acute and persistent infections. Persistent infections result from in utero exposure during the first trimester of gestation. Clinical presentation, in persistently infected cattle (PI), is highly variable. The reasons for this variation is largely unknown. The BVDV circulating in PI exist as quasispecies (swarms of individual viruses). An outbreak resulting in 34 PI cattle presented an opportunity to compare a large number of PI׳s. Methods were developed to compare the circulating viral populations within PI animals. It was found that PI animals generated in the same outbreak carry circulating viral populations that differ widely in size and diversity. Further, it was demonstrated that variation in PI viral populations could be used as a quantifiable phenotype. This observation makes it possible to test the correlation of this phenotype to other phenotypes such as growth rate, congenital defects, viral shed and cytokine expression.