Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) would be even more fascinating as a clinical entity in cattle, as it was first recognized in the 1940s, Chase says. “There are not naturally occurring pestiviruses in cattle. BVDV likely came from sheep or maybe swine since border disease in sheep and classic swine fever virus have been around for hundreds of years.”
Chase says looking at “ancient sheep and swine digs” to see how these early virus progenitors of BVDV have evolved may give us insight on new vaccine targets to approach.
Major technical advances in DNA recovery and sequencing have dramatically expanded the scope of genetic analysis of ancient specimens, the McMaster press release says, which in turn is opening new horizons in the understanding of emerging and re-emerging infections.
Let’s hope veterinary science can use this information to study those diseases that plague our livestock.