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Putative Novel Atypical BTV Serotype ‘36’ Identified in Small Ruminants in Switzerland

We identified a putative novel atypical BTV serotype ‘36’ in Swiss goat flocks. In the initial flock clinical signs consisting of multifocal purulent dermatitis, facial oedema and fever were observed. Following BTV detection by RT-qPCR, serotyping identified BTV-25 and also a putative novel BTV serotype in several of the affected goats. We successfully propagated the so-called “BTV-36-CH2019” strain in cell culture, developed a specific RT-qPCR targeting Segment 2, and generated the full genome by high-throughput sequencing. Furthermore, we experimentally infected goats with BTV-36-CH2019. Regularly, EDTA blood, serum and diverse swab samples were collected. Throughout the experiment, neither fever nor clinical disease was observed in any of the inoculated goats. Four goats developed BTV viremia, whereas one inoculated goat and the two contact animals remained negative. No viral RNA was detected in the swab samples collected from nose, mouth, eye, and rectum, and thus the experimental infection of goats using this novel BTV serotype delivered no indications for any clinical symptoms or vector-free virus transmission pathways. The subclinical infection of the four goats is in accordance with the reports for other atypical BTVs. However, the clinical signs of the initial goat flock did most likely not result from infection with the novel BTV-36-CH0219.



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