Objective - To compare replication of bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV) in pulmonary artery endothelial cells (ECs) obtained from juvenile cattle, sheep, white-tailed deer (WTD; Odocoileus virginianus), and black-tailed deer (BTD; O hemionus columbianus). Sample Population - Cultures of pulmonary artery ECs obtained from 3 cattle, 3 sheep, 3 WTD, and 1 BTD. Procedure - Purified cultures of pulmonary artery ECs were established. Replication, incidence of infection, and cytopathic effects of prototype strains of BTV serotype 17 (BTV-17) and 2 serotypes of EHDV (EHDV-1), and (EHDV-2) were compared in replicate cultures of ECs from each of the 4 ruminant species by use of virus titration and flow cytometric analysis. Results - All 3 viruses replicated in ECs from the 4 ruminant species; however, BTV-17 replicated more rapidly than did either serotype of EHDV. Each virus replicated to a high titer in all ECs, although titers of EHDV-1 were significantly lower in sheep ECs than in ECs of other species. Furthermore, all viruses caused extensive cytopathic effects and a high incidence of cellular infection; however, incidence of cellular infection and cytopathic effects were significantly lower in EHDV-1-infected sheep ECs and EHDV-2-infected BTD ECs. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance - There were only minor differences in replication, incidence of infection, and cytopathic effects for BTV-17, EHDV-1, or EHDV-2 in ECs of cattle, sheep, BTD, and WTD. It is not likely that differences in expression of disease in BTV- and EHDV-infected ruminants are attributable only to species-specific differences in the susceptibility of ECs to infection with the 2 orbiviruses.
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