Practical significance of heterogeneity among BVDV strains: Impact of biotype and genotype on U.S. control programs

Virus and Prion Diseases of Livestock Research Unit, National Animal Disease Center, USDA, Agricultural Research Service, 2300 Dayton Avenue, P.O. Box 70, Ames, IA 50010, USA


In the early 1990s research groups in North America noted that a newly recognized severe acute form of bovine viral diarrhea  virus infection, referred to as hemorrhagic syndrome or severe acute BVDV (SA BVDV), was associated with a genetically distinct subgroup of BVDV strains. This new subgroup was named BVDV genotype 2 or BVDV2. All BVDV strains previously characterized in the literature belonged to a separate genotype, BVDV1. However, not all strains identified as BVDV2 were associated with severe acute infections. If I did this deletion, I did not mean to do it. I think it was already here, though. I see there are some other big edits that I did not do; fine. Hollis subsequent surveys of BVDV strains isolated from clinical submissions to diagnostic laboratories and contaminated fetal calf serum suggested that the ratio of BVDV2 to BVDV1 strains in the U.S. approached 50%. Further, while antigenic cross reactivity is seen between BVDV1 and BVDV2 strains, a log or more difference is typically observed in titers against viruses from different genotypes. These observations prompted vaccine manufacturers in North America to produce vaccines against BVDV that contained antigens from both BVDV1 and BVDV2 strains. Under experimental conditions, these new vaccines offered improved protection against type 2 strains, however field data are still insufficient to assess their efficacy in practice. The BVDV genotypes may also be segregated into subgenotypes. Two subgenotypes of both BVDV1 (BVDV1a and BVDV1b) and BVDV2 (BVDV2a and BVDV2b) have been reported in North American. BVDV2a predominates with BVDV2b isolation a rare event. In contrast, BVDV1a and BVDV1b are both commonly isolated. Antigenic differences observed between strains from the BVDV1a and BVDV1b subgenotypes have led to the suggestion that protection may be improved by inclusion of strains from both BVDV1a and BVDV1b in vaccines in addition to BVDV2. The cost to benefit ratio of this proposal is currently a matter of debate.


This article was published in Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 72, Julia F. Ridpath, Practical significance of heterogeneity among BVDV strains: Impact of biotype and genotype on U.S. control programs, 17-30, Copyright Elsevier 2005.