Ruminant pestiviruses are widely distributed worldwide, causing congenital disease and massive economic losses. Although ruminant production is an important economic sector in North Africa, the knowledge about pestiviruses is scarce. The present study aimed at assessing the presence of Pestivirus in cattle in Algeria, and to review the data available on ruminant pestiviruses in North Africa. A cross-sectional study was conducted on dairy farms from North-Western Algeria. Blood samples from 234 dairy cattle from 31 herds were collected. All sera were analysed for the presence of antibodies using a commercial iELISA. The presence of Pestivirus RNA was also assessed by using a Reverse Transcription-PCR, and PCR-positive samples were sequenced. Risk factors related to Pestivirus infection were also analysed. The review of the presence of ruminant pestiviruses in North Africa was performed using a systematic search and compilation methodology of the peer-reviewed literature available in order to identify gaps of knowledge for future research. The seroprevalence at population and farm levels obtained in the present study (59.9% and 93.5%, respectively) concur with data reported in neighbouring countries. Risk factors associated with Pestivirus infection in cattle were the presence of sheep in the herd and the animal category (cow vs heifer). Furthermore, we confirmed the presence of BVDV-1a in Algeria. The scarce data suggest an endemic epidemiological scenario of pestivirus in livestock. The lack of studies about the epidemiology and molecular variability of ruminant pestiviruses in livestock and wildlife in North Africa is of concern for animal health and wildlife conservation, and needs to be addressed.
- North Africa