Five viruses, unrelated to bovine ephemeral fever virus (BEFV), were isolated from Culicoides biting-midges collected during the summer months of the years 1968-69 and 1969-70 near a cattle herd in which cases of BEF occurred and at an open horse stable at Onderstepoort. These viruses were investigated by means of serological, electron-microscopical and physicochemical tests. It was established that 2 isolates, Cul. 1/69 and Cul. 2/69, were related to each other and belonged to the Palyam subgroup of the genus Orbivirus, that isolate Cul. 3/69 belonged to the equine encephalosis subgroup of the genus Orbivirus, while Cul. 1/70 was related to Akabane virus, which belongs to the Simbu subgroup of the family Bunyaviridae. One isolate, Cul. 5/69, though prevalent in the cattle population, could not be identified at this point. A brief serological survey indicated that the cattle in the nearby herd possessed antibodies against all the isolates except Cul. 3/69. BEFV could not be isolated in mice or in cultured cells from the wild-caught Culicoides.
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