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PESTIVIRUSES are the cause of classical swine fever (CSF), bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) and border disease in sheep. CSF has, for decades, been listed as an OIE notifiable disease, and is subject to compulsory destruction of all susceptible animals (pigs) on affected premises; measures supported by both international regulations and national legislation. Due to both its clinical impact and its importance to international trade, BVD has, in recent years, been upgraded to notifiable disease status by OIE, and is now on a par with CSF (OIE 2014). After successful BVD eradication programmes in the Scandinavian countries, BVD has continued to attract significant attention in much of Europe, where numerous industry-driven and often regional control programmes are in place. A notable exception is Switzerland, where a coordinated campaign initiated in 2008 may soon reach its goal of national BVD eradication (Presi and Heim 2010). In contrast, much less attention has been paid to border disease (OIE 2014), which can be justified to some extent by its less severe impact on the overall health of national sheep flocks when compared to CSF and BVD.
Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) shares many of the properties that have made it very successful with border disease virus. Both viruses are able to cross the placental barrier and infect the fetus before the onset of immunological maturity, which may result in the birth of apparently normal offspring that are …
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