Date of this Version
Nucleotide sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of Brazilian bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) field isolates identified four viruses belonging to the genotype 2. Comparison of 5’ UTR sequences from these isolates to those of North American BVDV type 2 revealed genomic variations that correlated with the geographic origins of the isolates. Two of the Brazilian type 2 viruses were isolated from clinical cases of gastroenteric/respiratory disease and two were isolated from healthy bovine fetuses. The clinical cases affected young animals (8- and 18-months-old) and were characterized by diarrhea, respiratory signs, extensive oral and digestive tract erosions, conjunctival and vulvar congestion, occasional digestive bleeding and vulvar and heart petechial hemorrhage. Antigenic analysis of these isolates with a panel of 10 monoclonal antibodies revealed marked antigenic differences in the major envelope glycoprotein, gp53/E2, compared to standard laboratory and vaccine BVDV strains. In addition, virus-specific antisera raised to Brazilian BVDV type 2 viruses displayed very low serological cross-reactivity with standard BVDV type 1 strains. Differences up to 64-fold in cross-neutralization titers were observed between BVDV type 1 and Brazilian BVDV type 2 isolates. The identification of BVDV type 2 among Brazilian cattle may have important implications for epidemiological studies, diagnostic and immunization strategies. Furthermore, the low neutralizing activity of BVDV type 1 antisera against the recently identified Brazilian BVDV type 2 isolates raises the question about the degree of protection conferred by BVDV vaccines, most of them based on a single type 1 strain.