Virology journal 2017 11 0214(1) 209 doi 10.1186/s12985-017-0876-4
Bovine leukemia virus (BLV), an oncogenic member of the Deltaretrovirus genus, is closely related to human T-cell leukemia virus (HTLV-I and II). BLV infects cattle worldwide and causes important economic losses. In this review, we provide a summary of available information about commonly used diagnostic approaches for the detection of BLV infection, including both serological and viral genome-based methods. We also outline genotyping methods used for the phylogenetic analysis of BLV, including PCR restriction length polymorphism and modern DNA sequencing-based methods. In addition, detailed epidemiological information on the prevalence of BLV in cattle worldwide is presented. Finally, we summarize the various BLV genotypes identified by the phylogenetic analyses of the whole genome and env gp51 sequences of BLV strains in different countries and discuss the distribution of BLV genotypes worldwide.