Caister Academic Press

Molecular Biology of Pestiviruses

Till Rümenapf and Heinz-Jürgen Thiel
from: Animal Viruses: Molecular Biology (Edited by: Thomas C. Mettenleiter and Francisco Sobrino). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2008)


Pestiviruses account for important diseases in animals such as Classical swine fever (CSF) and Bovine viral diarrhea / Mucosal disease (BVD/MD). According to the current O.I.E. list CSF and BVD/MD are notifiable diseases and eradication programms are administered in many countries worldwide. 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. Within the last two decades a number of surprising molecular features have been unraveled that correlate to some aspects of the unique pathogenesis of pestiviral diseases. One hallmark of pestiviruses is their unique strategy to establish persistent infection during pregnancy. Persistent infection with pestiviruses often goes unnoticed; for BVDV frequently nonhomologous RNA recombination events lead to the appearance of genetically distinct viruses that are lethal to the host. The current understanding of the complex mechanisms that define pathogenesis of pestivirus induced diseases, epidemiology as well as eradication and control are reviewed in this article read more ...
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