Twenty-five BVDV strains, detected in serum from persistently infected cattle from Peru (n=15) and Chile (n=10) were genetically characterized. The phylogenetic analysis based on the 5' UTR showed that all 25 strains belonged to genotype 1. Twenty-three of the strains could further be subdivided into subtype 1b, and two out of ten Chilean strains into subtype 1a. In conclusion, in total 23 out of 25 strains analyzed were of genotype 1, subtype 1b. This is the predominant BVDV subtype in many countries all over the world, including USA. The close homology with previously described strains reflects the influence of livestock trade on the diversity of BVDV circulating within and between countries and continents. Peru and Chile have imported large numbers of cattle from USA and Europe, mostly with insufficient or lacking health documentation. © 2009 Colégio Brasileiro de Patologia Animal.