aVeterinary and Agrochemical Research Center, Department of Virology, Groeselenberg 99, B-1180 Brussels, Belgium bDierengezondheidszorg Vlaanderen, Belgium cAssociation Régionale de Santé et d’Identification Animales, Ciney, Belgium
Until now, no official bovine virus diarrhea virus (BVDV) control program has been implemented in Belgium. The only legislation dealing with the detection of BVDV-infected animals concerns the purchase of animals. A strategy of control, based on the identification and elimination of persistently infected (PI) animals and the vaccination of cows before insemination has been designed in both the Northern and the Southern part of the country. The strategy of detection of PI animals relies on PCR testing of pools of blood. Individual blood samples corresponding to the positive pools are then tested by BVDV-antigen ELISA.
A first evaluation of the measures already applied in Belgium is presented. Data obtained in 2003 are presented and discussed regarding the validation of the laboratory strategy, the prevalence of positive herds, the genotype of circulating viruses, the outcome of antigen positive animals and the need for improvement of the current legislation.
This article was published in Preventive Veterinary Medicine, 72, C. Letelliera, L. De Meulemeesterb, M. Lombac, E. Mijtenb and P. Kerkhofsa, Detection of BVDV persistently infected animals in Belgium: Evaluation of the strategy implemented, 121-125, Copyright Elsevier 2005.