Submitted to: Virology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/2/2007
Publication Date: 10/1/2007
Citation: Kirkland, P.D., Frost, M.J., Finlaison, D.S., King, K.R., Ridpath, J.F., Gu, X. 2007. Identification of a novel virus in pigs - Bungowannah virus: a possible new species of pestivirus. Virology. 129(1):26-34. Interpretive Summary: Several viruses grouped in the pestivirus genus within the flavivirus family are associated with significant animal suffering and economic loss. Notable among these are classical swine fever virus (CSFV) and bovine viral diarrhea virus, both of which have been targeted by widespread eradication efforts. This manuscript describes the isolation and characterization of what may be a new member virus of the pestivirus genus. The name "Bungowannah virus" is proposed for this virus. It was associated with an outbreak of reproductive disease in pregnant sows and death in 3-4 week old piglets that occurred in New South Wales, Australia. Similarities in viral proteins and a common host could result in misdiagnosis of Bungowannah virus as CSFV. Such a misdiagnosis would create problems in countries, such as Australia, that have eradicated CSFV. Comparison of the genetic make up of the two viruses reveals clear and extensive differences between the two that could be used in differentiating them in the field.
Technical Abstract: In 2003 an outbreak of sudden deaths occurred in 3-4 week old piglets on a farm in New South Wales, Australia. There was a marked increase in the birth of stillborn foetuses. Pathological changes consisted of a multifocal non-suppurative myocarditis. A viral infection was suspected but a wide range of known agents were excluded. A modified sequence independent single primer amplification (SISPA) method was used to identify a novel virus associated with this outbreak. Conserved 5'-UTR motifs, the presence of a putative N**Pro coding region and limited antigenic cross-reactivity with other members of the Pestivirus genus, support the placement of this virus in the pestivirus genus. Phylogenetic analysis of the 5'-UTR, N**Pro and E2 coding regions showed this virus to be the most divergent pestivirus identified to date, suggesting that this novel virus represents a new species within the pestivirus genus. The name "Bungowannah virus" is proposed for this virus.