ANALYSIS - The persistently infected (PI) calf is at the epicentre of solving the bovine viral diarrhea issue.
This is the message of Dr John Davidson of Boehringer Ingelheim who sees these animals as the 'trojan horse' of BVD.
"We need to spend more time thinking about how to prevent the PI BRD calves," Dr Davidson told TheCattleSite. "This will really benefit the industry."
He said the costly disease impacts all segments of the cattle sector, starting at the cow/calf stage where PI calves can reach naive animals, eventually reaching the feedlot.
"It really boils down to the presence of the PI calf," said Dr Davidson. "It propagates the virus in every phase of the business."
"As we go into stocker and confined cattle segments, BVD is a major contributor to bovine respiratory disease complex."
He highlighted the role vaccines can play in controlling BVD, both at youngstock stages and while still as a foetus.