Test Strategies in Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus Control and Eradication Campaigns in Europe

Review Article

Correspondence: 1 Corresponding Author: H Houe, The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Department of Large Animal Sciences, Section for Veterinary Epidemiology, Grønnegårdsvej 8, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark

Several European countries have initiated national and regional control-and-eradication campaigns for bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV). Most of these campaigns do not involve the use of vaccines; in Germany, vaccination is used only in states in which it is considered necessary because of high BVDV prevalence. In European countries without organized BVDV control programs, vaccination is commonly used to control BVDV. Diagnostic test strategies are fundamental to all control-and-eradication campaigns; therefore, the purpose of this review is to describe how the available diagnostic tests are combined into test strategies in the various phases of control-and-eradication campaigns in Europe. Laboratory techniques are available for BVDV diagnosis at the individual animal level and at the herd level. These are strategically used to achieve 3 main objectives: 1) initial tests to classify herd status, 2) follow-up tests to identify individual BVDV-infected animals in infected herds, and 3) continued monitoring to confirm BVDV-free status. For each objective or phase, the validity of the diagnostic tests depends on the mode of BVDV introduction and duration of infection in test-positive herds, and on how long noninfected herds have been clear of BVDV. Therefore, the various herd-level diagnostic tools—such as antibody detection in bulk milk or in blood samples from young stock animals, or BVDV detection in bulk milk—need to be combined appropriately to obtain effective strategies at low cost. If the individual diagnostic tests are used with due consideration of the objectives of a specific phase of a BVDV control program, they are effective tools for controlling and eradicating BVDV in regions not using vaccination and where vaccination is a part of the control or eradication program.

Key Words: Bovine viral diarrhea virus • cattle • control • eradication • test strategies



Houe H1, Lindberg A, Moennig V: J Vet Diagn Invest 18: 427-436, 2006.