The Toggenburg orbivirus (TOV), a recently discovered virus related to bluetongue virus (BTV), has been identified in goats in Switzerland, Italy and Germany. Isolation of TOV in vitro has not yet been achieved and the transmission mechanisms are still unknown. In the experimental infection of pregnant goats described here, TOV could not be detected in secretion/excretion samples or fetal blood. Material from the goat experiment was used as inoculum for propagating the virus in vitro. To enhance the infectivity of TOV several modified protocols, e.g. pretreatment of the virus with trypsin, polyethylene glycol-mediated infection and lipofection were applied. Isolation of TOV, attempts to infect Culicoides nubeculosus by feeding TOV-positive blood and intracerebral inoculation of newborn mice were unsuccessful. The results of these studies suggest that TOV requires specific but different factors than other BTVs for infection and replication outside of its natural caprine host.