Changes in levels of viremia in cattle persistently infected with bovine viral diarrhea virus


Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, Food Animal Health Research Program, Ohio State University, Wooster 44691, USA.

Virus isolation and serum neutralizing antibody titers were determined over a period of time from samples collected from animals persistently infected with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV). To evaluate over time the ability to detect BVDV by virus isolation from serum or white blood cell preparations, 4 persistently infected calves were monitored from birth until 70 days of age. In 3 of 4 persistently infected calves, virus isolation from serum and white blood cells was negative until approximately 42 days of age, when colostral antibody had declined. The level of viremia in 7 adult (> 12 months) persistently infected animals decreased by 1 10-fold dilution over at least a 2-year period. The level of viremia became undetectable by virus isolation from serum in 1 of the 7 animals examined. This decline was associated with the development of virus neutralizing antibody. Although the level of viremia is fairly stable within persistently infected animals, the presence of specific neutralizing antibody may affect the ability to isolate BVDV. These findings are important when considering diagnostic testing to identify persistently infected animals by virus isolation.


Brock KV, Grooms DL, Ridpath J, Bolin SR: J Vet Diagn Invest 10: 22-26, 1998.