Abstract: This study shows the origin and the pathogenic role of a novel ovine pestivirus (OVPV) isolated in 2017 in Italy, as a pathogenic agent causing severe abortions after infection in pregnant ewes and high capacity for virus trans-placental transmission as well as the birth of lambs suffering OVPV-persistent infection. The OVPV infection induced early antibody response detected by the specific ELISA against classical swine fever virus (CSFV), another important virus affecting swine. The neutralizing antibody response were similar against CSFV strains from genotype 2 and the OVPV. These viruses showed high identity in the B/C domain of the E2-glycoprotein. Close molecular diagnostics cross-reactivity between CSFV and OVPV was found and a new OVPV molecular assay was developed. The phylodynamic analysis showed that CSFV seems to have emerged as the result of an inter-species jump of Tunisian sheep virus (TSV) from sheep to pigs. The OVPV and the CSFV share the TSV as a common ancestor, emerging around 300 years ago. This suggests that the differentiation of TSV into two dangerous new viruses for animal health (CSFV and OVPV) was likely favored by human intervention for the close housing of multiple species for intensive livestock production.
- Congenital persistent infection
- Trans-placental transmission
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases