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Prevalence of Cattle Persistently Infected with Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus in 20 Dairy Herds in Two Counties in Central Michigan and Comparison of Prevalence of Antibody-Positive Cattle among Herds with Different Infection and Vaccination Status

Houe, H., Baker, J. C., Maes, R. K., Wuryastuti, H., Wasito, R., Ruegg, P. L., Lloyd, J. W.
infection, dairy cattle, Bovine viral diarrhea virus, dairy herds, disease prevalence, vaccination, live vaccines, antibodies, serological surveys, Michigan
All cattle in 20 dairy herds randomly selected from herds participating in the Dairy Herd Improvement Association program in 2 counties in central Michigan were tested for the presence of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV). Virus-positive animals were retested to ascertain persistent infection with the virus. A total of 5,481 animals were tested for presence of BVDV. In 9 of the herds, all animals were also tested for virus neutralizing antibody titer. Based on infection and vaccination status, these 9 herds were divided into 3 different herd categories: A, 5 herds with currently no cattle persistently infected (PI) with BVDV and without any vaccination program against BVDV in recent years; B, 2 herds with no current PI cattle but using killed BVDV vaccines; and C, 2 herds with PI cattle. PI cattle were detected in 3 out of 20 herds (15%). A total of 7 of 5,481 animals (0.13%) were PI. The mean prevalences of antibody carriers in herd categories A, B, and C were 28.8%, 76.4% and 90.6%, respectively. For one herd in category A, antibody analyses indicated that mostly young stock was seropositive, suggested recent BVDV infection in a previously closed and naive herd. Cattle in category B herds were vaccinated with killed vaccine from the age of 15 months. These herds had several antibody negative animals among the younger cows, suggesting incomplete protection against BVDV infection. In the 3 herds in which PI animals were detected, all cattle had been vaccinated with killed vaccine. The antibody-positive animals had antibody titers that were significantly different both among herds and among herd categories. The antibody titers of animals exposed to PI animals were significantly higher than those of animals vaccinated with killed vaccine.