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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

Pestivirus Infections in Semi-Domesticated Eurasian Tundra Reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus): A Retrospective Cross-Sectional Serological Study in Finnmark County, Norway

das Neves, Carlos G.; Wensman, Jonas Johansson; Nymo, Ingebjorg Helena; Skjerve, Eystein; Alenius, Stefan; Tryland, Morten


Members of the Pestivirus genus (family Flaviviridae) cause severe and economically important diseases in livestock. Serological studies have revealed the presence of pestiviruses in different cervid species, including wild and semi-domesticated Eurasian tundra reindeer. In this retrospective study, serum samples collected between 2006 and 2008 from 3339 semi-domesticated Eurasian reindeer from Finnmark County, Norway, were tested for anti-pestivirus antibodies using an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and a subset of these by virus neutralization test (VNT). A seroprevalence of 12.5% was found, varying from 0% to 45% among different herding districts, and 20% in western Finnmark, as compared to 1.7% in eastern Finnmark. Seroprevalence increased with age. Pestivirus-specific RNA was not detected in any of the 225 serum samples tested by real-time RT-PCR. Based on VNT results, using a panel of one bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) strain and two border disease virus (BDV) strains, the virus is most likely a reindeer-specific pestivirus closely related to BDV. A characterization of the causative virus and its pathogenic impact on reindeer populations, as well as its potential to infect other domestic and wild ruminants, should be further investigated.


bvdv; epidemiology; reindeer; border disease virus; Norway

Published in

2020, Volume: 12, number: 1, article number: 29
Publisher: MDPI