We previously suggested that antenatal pestivirus infection might play a role in the pathogenesis of perinatal brain white matter damage (WMD) in preterm infants. We have now examined 22 brains from stillborns and deceased newborns (both preterm and term) for the presence of bovine virus diarrhoea virus (BVDV) antigen. The brains of five females and five males with WMD (median gestational age 36.5wks), and nine female and three male controls (median gestational age 36.5wks) were used in the study. No BVDV antigen was detected in any of the 22 brains. We conclude that brain infection with BVDV is unlikely to play a role in WMD pathogenesis among preterm or term newborns. Further research is needed to test the hypothesis that intrauterine exposure to pestivirus antigen elicits a fetal inflammatory response which then contributes to WMD.