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Virus classification
Group: Group IV ((+)ssRNA)
Family: Flaviviridae
Genus: Pestivirus
Type Species

Pestivirus is a genus of viruses, in the family Flaviviridae. Viruses in the genus Pestivirus infect mammals, including members of the family Bovidae (which includes, but is not limited to, cattle, sheep, and goats) and the family Suidae (which includes various species of swine). There are currently four species in this genus including the type species Bovine viral diarrhea virus 1. Diseases associated with this genus include: hemorrhagic syndromes, abortion, fatal mucosal disease.[1][2]


Group: ssRNA(+)



Viruses in Pestivirus are enveloped, with spherical geometries. The diameter is around 50 nm. Genomes are linear and non-segmented, around 12kb in length.[1]

Genus Structure Symmetry Capsid Genomic arrangement Genomic segmentation
Pestivirus Icosahedral-like Pseudo T=3 Enveloped Linear Monopartite

Life cycle[edit]

Entry into the host cell is achieved by attachment of the viral envelope protein E to host receptors, which mediates clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Replication follows the positive stranded RNA virus replication model. Positive stranded RNA virus transcription is the method of transcription. Translation takes place by viral initiation. The virus exits the host cell by budding. Mammals serve as the natural host. Transmission routes are parental.[1]

Genus Host details Tissue tropism Entry details Release details Replication site Assembly site Transmission
Pestivirus Mammals None Clathrin-mediated endocytosis Secretion Cytoplasm Cytoplasm Vertical: parental


Pestivirus viruses have a single strand of positive-sense RNA (i.e. RNA which can be directly translated into viral proteins) which is around 12.5 kilobases (kb) long (equal to the length of 12,500 nucleotides). Sometimes virions (individual virus particles) contain sections of an animal's genome which have been duplicated, though this is not normally the case. There is no Poly-A on the 3' end of the genome. (This means that these viruses have no post-transcriptional modifications, and have simple RNA genomes.) The genome contains RNA to encode both structural and non-structural proteins. The molecular biology of pestiviruses shares many similarities and peculiarities with the human hepaciviruses. Genome organisation and translation strategy are highly similar for the members of both genera. For BVDV frequently nonhomologous RNA recombination events lead to the appearance of genetically distinct viruses that are lethal to the host.[3]

Transmission and Prevention[edit]

Pestivirus is widespread in Australia, mainly in cattle. Some adult cattle are immune to the disease, while others are lifelong carriers. If a foetus becomes infected within the first three to four months of gestation then it will fail to develop antibodies towards the virus. In these cases the animals often die before birth or shortly after. It is spread very easily among feedlot cattle as nasal secretions and close contact spread the disease, and animals with infected mucous membranes give off millions of particles of BVDV a day.

Symptoms of Pestivirus infection include diarrhoea, respiratory problems and bleeding disorders.

Pestivirus vaccines exist and the correct vaccine strain should be given, depending on the herd's location and the endemic strain in that region. This vaccination must be given regularly to maintain immunity.

Potential species[edit]

Several additional isolates have been reported and may be recognised as species

  • Border disease virus 2 (BDV-2)
  • Bovine viral diarrhoea virus 3 (BVDV-3) (HoBi group)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Viral Zone". ExPASy. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  2. ^ a b ICTV. "Virus Taxonomy: 2014 Release". Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  3. ^ Rumenapf and Thiel (2008). "Molecular Biology of Pestiviruses". Animal Viruses: Molecular Biology. Caister Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-904455-22-6.

External links[edit]