Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Evidence of natural reassortment between bluetongue vaccine viruses & field strains of bluetongue virus has been found

One of the concerns related to the use of live attenuated virus vaccines is that in dually infected hosts (vertebrate or insect vector) such vaccine viruses may reassort with field strains producing progeny viruses of uncertain virulence - though evidence of the occurrence of such natural reassortants in the field has not hitherto been discovered.

In South Africa during a search for such natural reassortants, 8 of 130 random isolates of BTV taken from the field were found to be �vaccine-like� on sequencing of genome segment 2. Seven of these isolates came from sheep and one from a bovine. As bovines are not vaccinated in South Africa this suggests that this infection with a �vaccine-like� virus may have been midge transmitted.

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Christiaan POTGIETER, (Senior Researcher)
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