& livestock assay data sheet
Bovine ephemeral fever virus
- Ultrasensitive detection of bovine ephemeral fever virus by reverse transcription
coupled real time PCR
Bovine ephemeral fever virus (BEFV) is a member of the genus
Ephemerovirus in the
The virus is a bullet or cone shaped virion, consisting of a
negative, single stranded RNA genome with a lipid envelope and 5
structural proteins. There is only one serotype. Other members
of this genus include Adelaide River virus, Kimberley virus,
Berrimah virus, Puchong virus and Malakal virus, and these
members can cross-react in some serological tests with BEFV.
This virus infects cattle and water buffalo, and can result in
significant economic loss due to reduction in milk production,
poor condition, abortion, temporary infertility in bulls, and
prolonged recovery in some animals. Bovine ephemeral fever
occurs in Africa, Australia, Asia and the Middle East among
Bos species cattle
breeds and water buffalo (Bubalus
Antibodies to BEFV have been reported in domesticated deer and goats, as
well as many wild ruminants including Cape buffalo, hartebeest,
waterbuck, wildebeest, kudu, deer, antelope and giraffes. Most
of these seropositive animals are found in Africa. These
seropositive animals may have contacted the virus but have not
developed any disease symptoms
Mosquitoes are suspected to be the most important biological vectors for
the transmission of this virus. The virus has been isolated from
a mixed pool of Culicine and Anopheline mosquitoes, as well as
Anopheles bancroftii, in Australia, and from Culicoides (biting
midges) in both Africa and Australia
Infected animals may develop mild to severe symptoms within 1-10 days
after contacting the virus. Asymptomatic infections are also
seen. The classic clinical course of the disease begins with a
fever, which is often biphasic, triphasic or polyphasic. The
temperature peaks typically occur 12 to 18 hours apart. Symptoms
tend to get worse after each phase of fever. However, most
animals recover after 2-3 days of infection – this is why the
disease is sometimes called "Three Day Sickness."
Bovine ephemeral fever can be confused with other diseases, such as early
Rift Valley fever, heartwater, bluetongue, botulism, babesiosis
or blackleg. The salivation symptom may also resemble
foot-and-mouth disease, but no vesicles are found. Differential
diagnosis often requires laboratory testing. Serology may be
used to detect the rising antibody titer, but some time is
required for the antibody titer to rise to a detectable level.
Molecular detection by PCR is rapid, sensitive and specific, and
is often used to detect the virus (Finlaison et al., 2014).
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Shorten the time required to confirm a clinical
diagnosis of BEFV infection
Help ensure that animal herds and populations are free of
bovine ephemeral fever virus
Early prevention of spread of the virus among animals
Minimize human exposure to the virus
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive
Finlaison, D.S., Read, A.J., Zhang, J., Paskinb, R., and Kirklanda, P.D.
(2014) Objective Application of a real-time polymerase chain
reaction assay to the diagnosis of bovine ephemeral fever during
an outbreak in New South Wales and northern Victoria in 2009–10.
Aust. Vet. J. 92: 24-27.
whole blood in EDTA (purple top) or ACD (yellow top) tube, or 0.2 ml fresh
or frozen tissue.
types other than those listed here, please call to confirm
specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during
very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship
with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are
specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain
frozen in transit. See
for more information.
2 business days
Qualitative reverse transcription coupled real time PCR