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News Article

Bovine kobuvirus found in the United States


The virus is a potential cause of diarrhoea in calves

A virus first discovered in Japan in 2003 has been detected in the United States, researchers report in Emerging Infectious Diseases.

Bovine kobuvirus (BKV) belongs to the Picornaviridae family. Since initial identification in 2003, BKV has been detected in cattle from several countries, but only from faecal samples; no natural or experimental studies have reported its pathogenesis. However, the virus is thought to be a possible aetiological agent of calf diarrhoea.

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign sequenced the microbial DNA in samples from cattle in Illinois and analysed the intestines of two calves that died after infection.

"Only Bovine kobuvirus was detected in both cases," said University of Illinois veterinary clinical medicine professor Dr. Leyi Wang, who led the study. "This provides evidence that this virus is the causative agent for calf diarrhoea."

So far, no other negative associations with bovine infection have been observed. However, since almost no one in North America is looking for the virus in cattle or other species, it remains to be seen how this emerging disease agent influences health, Wang said.

"Continued surveillance of Bovine kobuvirus is urgently needed to determine how widespread it is," Wang said. "Scientists have access to only a few genetic sequences of this virus in public databases. We need to be sequencing these viruses to learn more about their genetic diversity and evolution."

Article: Wang, L., Fredrickson, R., Duncan, M., Samuelson, J., Hsiao, S-H. (2020). Bovine Kobuvirus in Calves with Diarrhea, United States. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 26(1) [Early release], doi: 10.3201/eid2601.191227

Article details

  • Date
  • 13 December 2019
  • Source
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign