Cattle infected in utero with bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) often develop a lifelong persistent infection (PI). During this PI, BVDV infects many cell types including peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC). To define the lymphoid cell populations in which BVDV persists PBMNC subpopulations were separated using monoclonal antibodies to cell surface markers. Separated cells were analysed by a sensitive PCR assay for BVDV, in conjunction with flow cytometry to identify antigen-containing cells and with viral infectivity assays. The results indicate that BVDV establishes a productive PI in monocytes and T cells bearing the marker BoCD4, BoCD8 or gamma-delta T cell receptor. BVDV was not detected in B cells as a productive nor a latent infection.
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