Absence of circulation of Pestivirus between wild and domestic ruminants in southern Spain

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Ruminant pestiviruses (family Flaviviridae) affect both wild and domestic ruminants worldwide, causing reproductive disorders and severe economic losses. Wild (n=1442) and domestic (n=373) ruminants from southern Spain were tested for the presence of antibodies to pestiviruses. Seropositivity was detected by both ELISA and virus neutralisation test in 1/892 (0.1 per cent) red deer, 29/125 (23.2 per cent) cattle and 17/157 (10.8 per cent) sheep. Pestivirus-specific antibodies to bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) and border disease virus (BDV) genotypes 1, 4 and 5 were detected. Significantly higher antibody titres to BDV-4 compared with BVDV-NADL were found in one cattle farm. Results indicate that wild ruminants may act as spillover hosts from domestic ruminants, and therefore they do not represent a risk for domestic ruminants in southern Spain. The wide distribution of pestiviruses among sheep and cattle suggests that transmission between these species may occur.

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