The genomic sequences of four pestiviruses, two BVDV strains (Osloss and NADL, both of which are cytopathogenic) and two HCV strains, were analyzed. Comparative studies revealed the presence of small insertions of cellular sequences in the genomes of both BVDV strains; the insertions are located in a region coding for a nonstructural protein. Such insertions are not present in the HCV sequences. The insertion identified in BVDV Osloss encodes a complete ubiquitin-like element. The sequence inserted in the BVDV NADL genome shows no homology to a ubiquitin gene but is almost identical with another bovine mRNA sequence. Molecular characterization of a BVDV "pair", isolated from an animal with mucosal disease, led to the detection of a ubiquitin-like sequence in the genome of the cytopathogenic strain, but not of the noncytopathogenic strain. It is proposed that recombination between viral and cellular RNA leads to formation of cpBVDV genomes. This hypothesis has direct implications for the pathogenesis of mucosal disease.
DFG Research Classification Scheme
- 204-04 Virology