Detection of Bovine viral diarrhea virus from three water buffalo fetuses (Bubalus bubalis) in southern Italy.
ABSTRACT Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is an important pathogen that primarily infects ruminants, leading to several clinical problems including abortion. BVDV-specific antibodies were reported in a wide range of hosts within domestic and wildlife animal populations, and serological studies also indicated BVDV infection in buffaloes. The purpose of this study was to analyze the presence of BVDV in 2 water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis) herds with a history of abortion. Virus isolation from aborted fetuses and from maternal buffy coat and the molecular characterization of the isolates confirmed the presence of BVDV in these animals. The sequence analysis based on the 5' UTR and N(pro) coding regions of the Pestivirus genome revealed that the isolates belong to subgenotype 1b of BVDV. The findings of this study also suggest a possible role of BVDV in causing congenital infection in water buffalo. Its presence in fetal tissues as well as in maternal blood raises questions about the possible development of clinical disease or its influence in abortions in water buffalo.