A stochastic risk-analysis model for the spread of bovine viral diarrhea virus after introduction to naive cow-calf herds.


(BVDV) through a cow–calf herd and estimate the effect of the virus on the herd, including abortions, calf morbidity, and calf mortality. The model was applied with three herd sizes (400, 100, and 50 head) and four control strategies (no intervention, vaccination of breeding stock, testing all calves pre-breeding and culling of persistently infected calves, and both vaccination of adults and testing and culling of calves). When no control strategy was implemented the BVDV reproductive rate (RE-PI) of persistently infected calves (PI’s), vertical transmission rate from cows to calves and the mortality rate of PI’s were influential in the number of PI’s produced in the herd. When a vaccination program alone was implemented the vaccine efficacy was influential in the number of PI’s produced in the herd. All control strategies decreased the effects of BVDV on the herd at both 1 and 10 years compared to no control. In most cases the combination of adult vaccination and calf testing and culling resulted in the largest decrease in the both the median and 95% prediction interval for the range of effects from BVDV. The effect of control strategies was most apparent in the 400 head herds. All control strategies increased the probability of early clearance of PI’s from the herd for all herd sizes. Fifty and 100 head herds cleared infection by 4 and 9 years respectively even without a control program but 400 head herds did not always clear infection after 10 years unless a testing program was implemented. The model presented is valuable in assessing the effect of control strategies and the effects of disease parameters on BVDV spread in beef herds.

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Smith, R. L.; Sanderson, M. W.; Renter, D. G.; et al.