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Association between infection of the respiratory tract attributable to bovine coronavirus and health and growth performance of cattle in feedlots

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  • 1 Food Animal Health Research Program, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691-4096.
  • | 2 Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 3 Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 4 Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.
  • | 5 Department of Animal Science, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691-4096.
  • | 6 Division of Agriculture, West Texas A & M University, Canyon, TX 79106.
  • | 7 Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.
  • | 8 Texas A & M Research and Extension Center, Amarillo, TX 79106.
  • | 9 Food Animal Health Research Program, Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC), The Ohio State University, Wooster, OH 44691-4096.
  • | 10 Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the association between respiratory tract infection with bovine coronavirus (BCV), treatment for respiratory tract disease, pulmonary lesions at slaughter, and average daily gain in cattle in feedlots.

Animals—837 calves in feedlots in Ohio and Texas.

Procedure—Nasal swab specimens were obtained from cattle at arrival in a feedlot (day 0) and at various times during the initial 28 days after arrival. Specimens were tested for BCV, using an antigencapture ELISA. Serum samples were obtained at arrival and again 28 days after arrival and tested for antibodies to BCV, using an antibody-detection ELISA. Information was collected regarding treatment for cattle with respiratory tract disease and average daily gain during the feeding period. Pulmonary lesions were evaluated at slaughter.

Results—Cattle shedding BCV from the nasal cavity and developing an antibody response against BCV were 1.6 times more likely to require treatment for respiratory tract disease than cattle that did not shed the virus or develop an immune response against BCV. Additionally, cattle that shed BCV from the nasal cavity were 2.2 times more likely to have pulmonary lesions at slaughter than cattle that did not shed the virus. The BCV shedding or seroconversion status did not affect average daily gain.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Bovine coronavirus infects feedlot cattle and is associated with an increased risk for cattle developing respiratory tract disease and pulmonary lesions. Development of appropriate control measures could help reduce the incidence of respiratory tract disease. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:1062–1066)