Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBL) from cattle known to be persistently viraemic with bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) following a foetal infection, were examined for the presence of viral antigens and cell-associated infectious virus. Using immunocytochemical techniques, physical separations of PBL subsets and virus isolation techniques (directly and by cocultivation) it was found that infection occurred in B and T lymphocytes, monocytes, and a group of cells designated null cells for lack of more specific classification. The latter three groups also supported viral replication, as infectious virus could be isolated from enriched cell populations. BVDV-like particles in cytoplasmic vesicles of PBL subsets were detected by electron microscopy.


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