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Intrauterine infection with bovine virus diarrhoea virus on alpine communal pastures in Switzerland


Braun, Ueli; Schönmann, M; Ehrensperger, F; Hilbe, Monika; Strasser, M (1999). Intrauterine infection with bovine virus diarrhoea virus on alpine communal pastures in Switzerland. Zentralblatt fuer Veterinärmedizin. Reihe A, 46(1):13-17.

Abstract

This study involved 13 calves, one to 50 days of age, born to first calf heifers that had been pastured on one of seven alpine communal pastures in the canton of St. Gallen during the summer of 1995. Of a total of 993 cattle pastured, 61 were pregnant heifers that were negative for bovine virus diarrhoea (BVD) antigen and for BVD antibodies at the start of pasturing. Seroconversion occurred in 26 of these pregnant heifers during the pasture period. Blood samples and skin biopsy specimens of calves born to 13 of these were examined for BVD antigen by antigen-ELISA and by an immunohistochemical technique, respectively. Blood samples were positive for BVD antigen in four calves, questionable in one calf, negative in seven and missing in one prematurely born calf. The four calves that were positive for BVD antigen in the blood were also positive in skin biopsies. Of the seven calves with a negative or missing blood test, six had positive and two had negative skin samples. Based on the combined results of blood and skin testing, 11 of 13 calves were positive for BVD antigen. Of the 11 infected calves, six were normal at birth, four were smaller than normal and one was premature and weak and was euthanized on humane grounds. Of the four small calves, two developed diarrhoea and died within the first month of life. The two calves that were negative for BVD antigen were clinically normal. The results of this study not only demonstrate the occurrence of in-utero infection with BVD virus, but also stress the importance of alpine communal pasturing in the spread of BVD virus. Because the prevention of infection with BVD virus on communal pastures does not seem feasible, it is recommended that all calves born to cows from such pastures be tested for BVD antigen.

Abstract

This study involved 13 calves, one to 50 days of age, born to first calf heifers that had been pastured on one of seven alpine communal pastures in the canton of St. Gallen during the summer of 1995. Of a total of 993 cattle pastured, 61 were pregnant heifers that were negative for bovine virus diarrhoea (BVD) antigen and for BVD antibodies at the start of pasturing. Seroconversion occurred in 26 of these pregnant heifers during the pasture period. Blood samples and skin biopsy specimens of calves born to 13 of these were examined for BVD antigen by antigen-ELISA and by an immunohistochemical technique, respectively. Blood samples were positive for BVD antigen in four calves, questionable in one calf, negative in seven and missing in one prematurely born calf. The four calves that were positive for BVD antigen in the blood were also positive in skin biopsies. Of the seven calves with a negative or missing blood test, six had positive and two had negative skin samples. Based on the combined results of blood and skin testing, 11 of 13 calves were positive for BVD antigen. Of the 11 infected calves, six were normal at birth, four were smaller than normal and one was premature and weak and was euthanized on humane grounds. Of the four small calves, two developed diarrhoea and died within the first month of life. The two calves that were negative for BVD antigen were clinically normal. The results of this study not only demonstrate the occurrence of in-utero infection with BVD virus, but also stress the importance of alpine communal pasturing in the spread of BVD virus. Because the prevention of infection with BVD virus on communal pastures does not seem feasible, it is recommended that all calves born to cows from such pastures be tested for BVD antigen.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Veterinary Pathology
05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Veterinary Clinic > Department of Farm Animals
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:February 1999
Deposited On:22 Feb 2019 16:06
Last Modified:24 Feb 2019 06:50
Publisher:Paul Parey
ISSN:0514-7158
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1439-0442.1999.00173.x
PubMed ID:10085763

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