Experimental infection of small ruminants with bluetongue virus expressing Toggenburg Orbivirus proteins

Piet A. van Rijn*, Sandra G.P. van de Water, Mieke A. Maris-Veldhuis, René G.P. van Gennip

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Bluetongue virus (BTV) is the prototype orbivirus (Reoviridae family, genus Orbivirus) consisting of more than 24 recognized serotypes or neutralization groups. Recently, new BTV serotypes in goats have been found; serotype 25 (Toggenburg Orbivirusor TOV), serotype 26 (KUW2010/02), and serotype 27 from Corsica, France. KUW2010/02 has been isolated in mammalian cells but is not replicating in Culicoides cells. TOVhas been detected in goats but could not been cultured, although TOV has been successfully passed to naïve animals by experimental infection using viremic blood. Genome segments Seg-2[VP2], Seg-6[VP5], Seg-7[VP7], and Seg-10[NS3/NS3a] expressing the respective TOV proteins were incorporated in BTV using reverse genetics, demonstrating that these TOV proteins are functional in BTV replication. Depending on the incorporated TOV proteins, in vitro replication is, however, decreased compared to the ancestor BTV, in particular by TOV-VP5. Sheep and goats were experimentally infected with BTV expressing both outer capsid proteins VP2 and VP5 of TOV, so-named ‘TOV-serotyped BTV’. Viremia was not detected in sheep, and hardly detected in goats after infection with TOV-serotyped BTV. Seroconversion by cELISA, however, was detected, suggesting that TOV-serotyped BTV replicates in small ruminants. One goat was coincidentally pregnant, and the fetus was strong PCR-positive in blood samples and several organs, which conclusively demonstrates that TOV-serotyped BTV replicates in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-151
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Bluetongue virus
  • Experimental infection
  • Goat
  • Protein expression
  • Reverse genetics
  • Sheep
  • Toggenburg Orbivirus

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