New insights on pestivirus infections in transhumant sheep and sympatric Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra p. pyrenaica)

Andreu Colom-Cadena, Johan Espunyes, Oscar Cabezón, Xavier Fernández-Aguilar, Rosa Rosell, Ignasi Marco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


© 2018 Elsevier B.V. Border Disease Virus (BDV) causes health and economic impact on livestock and is also of importance in wildlife conservation as it causes high mortality outbreaks in Pyrenean chamois (Rupicapra pyrenaica pyrenaica). Pastoral practices are known as a main interspecies pathogen transmission. Hence, the presence of pestivirus in transhumant sheep flocks and sympatric chamois was assessed in areas with different epidemiological scenarios of chamois BDV infections. Moreover, the present study had also the goal to identify if inter-specific infections occurred and when they happened. Five sheep flocks grazing in two alpine areas in the Pyrenees with two different BDV epidemiological scenarios in chamois populations were studied during two transhumant seasons. Sheep were sampled before and after transhumance. Pyrenean chamois sera and spleen samples from both areas where also studied during the same period. Antibodies against BDV were assessed by means of ELISA and VNT. A qRT-PCR was used in order to detect the virus. Seroprevalence in sheep ranged between 0 and 91.1% at the flock level. Chamois were found to have high seroprevalences (52.9–77.7%) in both areas, and four new BDV isolates were sequenced. One sheep farm presented persistent BDV circulation and three showed low BDV circulation. The after-transhumance period was identified as the moment when viral transmission occured in the first farm, associated to BDV strains of domestic origin, according to VNT results. However, the BDV isolate was genetical closely related to previous BDV strains from chamois origin. In another farm, antibodies in two of the three positive sera were associated to infection with a chamois-like BDV strain. Altogether indicates that occasional viral transmission from chamois to sheep may occur.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-89
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018


  • Border disease virus
  • Bovine viral diarrhea virus
  • Ovine
  • Pyrenees
  • Transhumance
  • Wildlife


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