Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



Journal of Clinical Microbiology November 2014 Volume 52 Number 11


Copyright © 2014, American Society for Microbiology



The identification and elimination of persistently infected (PI) cattle are the most effective measures for controlling bovine pestiviruses, including bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) and the emerging HoBi-like viruses. Here, colostrum-deprived calves persistently infected with HoBi-like pestivirus (HoBi-like PI calves) were generated and sampled (serum, buffy coat, and ear notches) on the day of birth (DOB) and weekly for 5 consecutive weeks. The samples were subjected to diagnostic tests for BVDV—two reverse transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR) assays, two commercial real-time RT quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), two antigen capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ACE), and immunohistochemistry (IHC)—and to HoBi-like virus-specific RT-PCR and RT-qPCR assays. The rate of false negatives varied among the calves. The HoBi-like virus-specific RT-PCR detected HoBi-like virus in 83%, 75%, and 87% of the serum, buffy coat, and ear notch samples, respectively, while the HoBi-like RT-qPCR detected the virus in 83%, 96%, and 62%, respectively. In comparison, the BVDVRT-PCR test had a higher rate of false negatives in all tissue types, especially for the ear notch samples (missing detection in at least 68% of the samples). The commercial BVDVRT-qPCRs and IHC detected 100% of the ear notch samples as positive. While ACE based on the BVDV glycoprotein Erns detected infection in at least 87% of ear notches, no infections were detected using NS3-based ACE. The BVDVRT-qPCR, ACE, and IHC yielded higher levels of detection than the HoBi-like virus-specific assays, although the lack of differentiation between BVDV and HoBi-like viruses would make these tests of limited use for the control and/or surveillance of persistent HoBi-like virus infection. An improvement in HoBi-like virus tests is required before a reliable HoBi-like PI surveillance program can be designed.