Two viruses, designated 99–8130(C) and 99–8130(I), were isolated in calf testis cells from the colon and ileum, respectively, of a suckled beef calf which had developed dysentery and died. Electron microscopy indicated that the mean (sd) size of the viral particles, 83 (2˙5) nm, and their morphology were consistent with their being members of the family Adenoviridae. They were confirmed as adenoviruses by PCR when products of the expected size (608 bp) were amplified from both isolates by using a primer pair specific for members of the genus Atadenovirus. A comparison of the sequence of a 567 bp segment of the 99–8130(C) amplicon with that of other prototype bovine adenovirus (BAdV) strains of atadenoviruses identified the isolate as BAdV serotype 6 (BAdV–6), which had 99˙3 per cent and 100 per cent identities at the nucleotide and amino acid levels, respectively, with the prototype BAdV–6 strain 671130. A virus neutralisation test was developed and indicated a high prevalence of antibody to BAdV–6 in Northern Irish cattle. There was no evidence of adenoviral inclusions in tissues from the affected calf and no antigen was detected when the tissues were stained by an immunoperoxidase technique, using a homologous antiserum raised in rabbits. The two viruses were the third reported isolation of BAdV–6, and the first from a clinically ill bovine animal.
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