Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2011
Publication Date: 9/25/2011
Citation: Ridpath, J.F. 2011. Sorting out pestiviral phylogeny: A tale of viral swarms, red herrings, and sons of Bs [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the Pestivirus Symposium of the European Society of Veterinary Virology, September 25-28, 2011, Hannover, Germany. p. 22.
Technical Abstract: Initially three species, border disease virus (BDV), bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), and classical swine fever virus (CSFV), were recognized in the pestivirus genus. These three species were defined by their host of origin, and to a lesser extent by clinical presentation. Subsequently, attempts were made to use serological cross reactivity and monoclonal antibody binding patterns to differentiate pestiviruses into antigenic subgroups. These efforts were thwarted by the antigenic variability of viruses within this genus. More recently phylogenetic analysis, which is based on comparison of genomic sequences, has been used to divide BVDV strains into two different species and has contributed to the recognition of several emerging pestivirus species, such as bungowannah, giraffe, HoBi, and pronghorn. While phylogenetic analysis has been a boon to researchers it can also be a bane to taxonomists trying to determine the level of difference that merits segregation of variant viruses into a new species or subgroup within a species. There are no hard and fast rules dictating the level of genetic difference that separates species or subgroups within a species. This is becoming particularly problematic with the division of pestivirus species into subgroups. While there are a number of publications reporting new subgroups within the various pestivirus species, there is no consensus on the phylogenetic criteria required to declare new subgroups and there is little information regarding the practical significance of subgroups reported. Further, naming of these subgroups has been based on order of discovery rather than genetic similarity. This suggests that it may be appropriate for researchers to discuss a more organized method of determining division into species and subgroups and a more logical nomenclature for subgroups.