Recent studies showed that BVDV-1b subgenotype is dominant in North and South American field BVDV isolates. However, nearly all commercially available BVDV-1 vaccines contain BVDV-1a strains. In order to study the efficacy of BVDV-1a vaccine against BVDV-1b infection, this study was designed to evaluate a modified-live vaccine (MLV) containing BVDV-1a and BVDV-2 strains for its efficacy in prevention of persistent infection of fetuses against BVDV-1b strain, when the heifers were vaccinated prior to breeding. Heifers were vaccinated subcutaneously with a single dose of the MLV and bred four weeks after vaccination. The pregnant heifers were challenged with a non-cytopathic BVDV-1b strain at approximately 80 days of gestation. Vaccinated heifers were protected from clinical disease and viremia caused by the BVDV-1b virus. At approximately 155 days of gestation, the fetuses were harvested and tissue samples of thymus, lungs, spleen, kidney and intestines were collected for virus isolation. BVDV was isolated from 100% of the fetuses in the non-vaccinated control group, and from only one fetus (4.3%) from the vaccinated group. Results demonstrated that the MLV containing BVDV-1a and BVDV-2 strains provided 96% protection from fetal persistent infection caused by the BVDV-1b strain.
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Xue, W. Z.; Mattick, D.; Smith, L.