ANALYSIS - A diagnosis of Bovine Viral Diarhea Virus (BVDV) persistently impacts the health and performance of the herd, and it's the mostly costly cattle disease for producers from a reproductive and respiratory perspective, writes Sarah Mikesell, TheCattleSite senior editor.
Jeff Baxter, global senior product manager with Thermo Fisher Scientific, explains why the cattle industry continues to struggle with BVDV not only in the US but globally as well.
BVD impacts fertility in the herd
The infection compromises the herd's fertility and induces the return of heat following death of the embryo when the cow is infected between the first and second months of gestation. Abortion and birth defects are possible throughout gestation.
BVD-PI animals serve as a reservoir of infection
A common consequence of prenatal infection by members of this viral genus is the birth of infected offspring that are permanently immunotolerant (BVD-persistent infection (BVD-PI)), which disseminate the virus throughout the herd.
BVD-PI animals are infected between the second and fourth months of gestation and carry the virus throughout their lifetime and constantly secrete large numbers of viral particles. This group therefore constitutes a major source of infection for the rest of the herd.
In addition, BVD-PI animals sooner or later develop the fatal form of BVD called mucosal disease (MD). The number of BVD-PI animals in an infected herd is of the order of 1% (although the percentage can be as high as 27%) and detecting them is primordial in the control of Pestivirus disease.