Percutaneous collection of fetal fluids for detection of bovine viral diarrhea virus infection in cattle

Robert J. Callan DVM, PhD, DACVIM1, John A. Schnackel DVM2, Hana Van Campen DVM, PhD, DACVM3,4, Robert G. Mortimer DVM, MS, DACT5, Jacqueline A. Cavender MS6, and Elizabeth S. Williams DVM, PhD, DACVP7
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1620.
  • | 2 Fort Dodge Animal Health, PO Box 518, Fort Dodge, IA 50501-0518.
  • | 3 Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, 1174 Snowy Range Rd, Laramie, WY 82070.
  • | 4 Present address is Department of Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.
  • | 5 Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523-1620.
  • | 6 Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, 1174 Snowy Range Rd, Laramie, WY 82070.
  • | 7 Wyoming State Veterinary Laboratory, 1174 Snowy Range Rd, Laramie, WY 82070.

Abstract

Objective—To develop a method for percutaneous collection of fetal fluid from cattle in the late stages of gestation and determine whether bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) can be isolated from such fluids.

Design—Case series.

Animals—169 pregnant beef cattle.

Procedure—Animals were restrained in a squeeze chute, and hair was clipped from a region of the right flank. Pregnancy was confirmed, and fetal fluids were identified by means of abdominal ultrasonography. Fetal fluid was collected with a spinal needle. Virus isolation was performed on fetal fluids, WBC lysates from 160 live calves, and tissues from 12 calves that died or were aborted. Blood samples collected from adult cattle were assayed with an immunoperoxidase monolayer assay.

Results—Fourteen animals aborted or delivered premature calves within 3 weeks after fetal fluid collection; however, it could not be determined whether this was a complication of the procedure or attributable to other factors. Results of BVDV isolation from fetal fluid samples were negative for 168 animals. However, a noncytopathic BVDV was isolated from fetal fluid obtained from a 2-year-old heifer; results of the immunoperoxidase assay of serum from this heifer were also positive, and a noncytopathic BVDV was isolated from tissue specimens from a stillborn calf produced by this heifer.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that fetal fluids can be collected percutaneously from cattle in the late stages of gestation and that virus isolation performed on fetal fluids can be used to identify fetuses infected with BVDV in utero. However, safety of the procedure could not be evaluated. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1348–1352).

Abstract

Objective—To develop a method for percutaneous collection of fetal fluid from cattle in the late stages of gestation and determine whether bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) can be isolated from such fluids.

Design—Case series.

Animals—169 pregnant beef cattle.

Procedure—Animals were restrained in a squeeze chute, and hair was clipped from a region of the right flank. Pregnancy was confirmed, and fetal fluids were identified by means of abdominal ultrasonography. Fetal fluid was collected with a spinal needle. Virus isolation was performed on fetal fluids, WBC lysates from 160 live calves, and tissues from 12 calves that died or were aborted. Blood samples collected from adult cattle were assayed with an immunoperoxidase monolayer assay.

Results—Fourteen animals aborted or delivered premature calves within 3 weeks after fetal fluid collection; however, it could not be determined whether this was a complication of the procedure or attributable to other factors. Results of BVDV isolation from fetal fluid samples were negative for 168 animals. However, a noncytopathic BVDV was isolated from fetal fluid obtained from a 2-year-old heifer; results of the immunoperoxidase assay of serum from this heifer were also positive, and a noncytopathic BVDV was isolated from tissue specimens from a stillborn calf produced by this heifer.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that fetal fluids can be collected percutaneously from cattle in the late stages of gestation and that virus isolation performed on fetal fluids can be used to identify fetuses infected with BVDV in utero. However, safety of the procedure could not be evaluated. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:1348–1352).