A novel pestivirus associated with deaths in Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica).
During investigations into recent population decreases in Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica) 21 animals found dead or dying were necropsied. Immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of a pestivirus in organs from two of the 21 chamois. From one of these animals a pestivirus was isolated from the spleen, skin and serum. The virus had better growth in ovine than in bovine cells and was neutralized most effectively by an anti-border disease virus (BDV) reference antiserum. Using panpestivirus and genotype-specific primers selected from 5′-untranslated region (UTR) of the pestivirus genome, BDV RNA was demonstrated by RT-PCR. Comparison of the chamois sequences from 5′-UTR, entire Npro and E2 gene coding regions with those of other pestivirus genotypes revealed that this virus did not fall into any of the pestivirus genotypes identified so far. Results of phylogenetic analysis suggested that the chamois pestivirus was closely related to BDV and it was typed as BDV-4 genotype.