The prevalence of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) infections was determined in a group of stocker calves suffering from acute respiratory disease. The calves were assembled after purchase from Tennessee auctions and transported to western Texas. Of the 120 calves, 105 (87.5%) were treated for respiratory disease. Sixteen calves died during the study (13.3%). The calves received a modified live virus BHV-1 vaccine on day 0 of the study. During the study, approximately 5 wk in duration, sera from the cattle, collected at weekly intervals, were tested for BVDV by cell culture. Sera were also tested for neutralizing antibodies to BVDV types 1 and 2, bovine herpesvirus-1 (BHV-1), parainfluenza-3 virus (PI-3V), and bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV). The lungs from the 16 calves that died during the study were collected and examined by histopathology, and lung homogenates were inoculated onto cell cultures for virus isolation. There were no calves persistently infected with BVDV detected in the study, as no animals were viremic on day 0, nor were any animals viremic at the 2 subsequent serum collections. There were, however, 4 animals with BVDV type 1 noncytopathic (NCP) strains in the sera from subsequent collections. Viruses were isolated from 9 lungs: 7 with PI-3V, 1 with NCP BVDV type 1, and 1 with both BVHV-1 and BVDV. The predominant bacterial species isolated from these lungs was Pasteurella haemolytica serotype 1. There was serologic evidence of infection with BVDV types 1 and 2, PI-3V, and BRSV, as noted by seroconversion (> or = 4-fold rise in antibody titer) in day 0 to day 34 samples collected from the 104 survivors: 40/104 (38.5%) to BVDV type 1; 29/104 (27.9%) to BVDV type 2; 71/104 (68.3%) to PI-3V; and 81/104 (77.9%) to BRSV. In several cases, the BVDV type 2 antibody titers may have been due to crossreacting BVDV type 1 antibodies; however, in 7 calves the BVDV type 2 antibodies were higher, indicating BVDV type 2 infection. At the outset of the study, the 120 calves were at risk (susceptible to viral infections) on day 0 because they were seronegative to the viruses: 98/120 (81.7%), < 1:4 to BVDV type 1; 104/120 (86.7%) < 1:4 to BVDV type 2; 86/120 (71.7%) < 1:4 to PI-3V; 87/120 (72.5%) < 1:4 to BRSV; and 111/120 (92.5%) < 1:10 to BHV-1. The results of this study indicate that BVDV types 1 and 2 are involved in acute respiratory disease of calves with pneumonic pasteurellosis. The BVDV may be detected by virus isolation from sera and/or lung tissues and by serology. The BVDV infections occurred in conjunction with infections by other viruses associated with respiratory disease, namely, PI-3V and BRSV. These other viruses may occur singly or in combination with each other. Also, the study indicates that purchased calves may be highly susceptible, after weaning, to infections by BHV-1, BVDV types 1 and 2, PI-3V, and BRSV early in the marketing channel.
Fulton RW, Purdy CW, Confer AW, Saliki JT, Loan RW, Briggs RE, and Burge LJ. Can J Vet Res. 2000 July; 64(3): 151–159.