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Protective effects against abortion and fetal infection following exposure to bovine viral diarrhea virus and bovine herpesvirus 1 during pregnancy in beef heifers that received two doses of a multivalent modified-live virus vaccine prior to breeding

M. Daniel Givens DVM, PhD, DACT, DACVM1, M. Shonda D. Marley DVM, PhD, DACT2, Craig A. Jones DVM3, Douglas T. Ensley DVM4, Patricia K. Galik MS5, Yijing Zhang BS6, Kay P. Riddell DVM, MS7, Kellye S. Joiner DVM, PhD8, Bruce W. Brodersen DVM, PhD9, and Soren P. Rodning DVM, MS, DACT10
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  • 1 Animal Health Research, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.
  • | 2 Animal Health Research, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.
  • | 3 Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc, 2621 N Belt Hwy, St Joseph, MO 64506.
  • | 4 Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc, 2621 N Belt Hwy, St Joseph, MO 64506.
  • | 5 Animal Health Research, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.
  • | 6 Animal Health Research, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.
  • | 7 Animal Health Research, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.
  • | 8 Animal Health Research, Department of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.
  • | 9 Veterinary Diagnostic Center, School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68683.
  • | 10 Department of Animal Sciences, College of Agriculture, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether administration of 2 doses of a multivalent, modified-live virus vaccine prior to breeding of heifers would provide protection against abortion and fetal infection following exposure of pregnant heifers to cattle persistently infected (PI) with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) and cattle with acute bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV1) infection.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—33 crossbred beef heifers, 3 steers, 6 bulls, and 25 calves.

Procedures—20 of 22 vaccinated and 10 of 11 unvaccinated heifers became pregnant and were commingled with 3 steers PI with BVDV type 1a, 1b, or 2 for 56 days beginning 102 days after the second vaccination (administered 30 days after the first vaccination). Eighty days following removal of BVDV-PI steers, heifers were commingled with 3 bulls with acute BHV1 infection for 14 days.

Results—After BVDV exposure, 1 fetus (not evaluated) was aborted by a vaccinated heifer; BVDV was detected in 0 of 19 calves from vaccinated heifers and in all 4 fetuses (aborted after BHV1 exposure) and 6 calves from unvaccinated heifers. Bovine herpesvirus 1 was not detected in any fetus or calf and associated fetal membranes in either treatment group. Vaccinated heifers had longer gestation periods and calves with greater birth weights, weaning weights, average daily gains, and market value at weaning, compared with those for calves born to unvaccinated heifers.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Prebreeding administration of a modified-live virus vaccine to heifers resulted in fewer abortions and BVDV-PI offspring and improved growth and increased market value of weaned calves.

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether administration of 2 doses of a multivalent, modified-live virus vaccine prior to breeding of heifers would provide protection against abortion and fetal infection following exposure of pregnant heifers to cattle persistently infected (PI) with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) and cattle with acute bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV1) infection.

Design—Randomized controlled clinical trial.

Animals—33 crossbred beef heifers, 3 steers, 6 bulls, and 25 calves.

Procedures—20 of 22 vaccinated and 10 of 11 unvaccinated heifers became pregnant and were commingled with 3 steers PI with BVDV type 1a, 1b, or 2 for 56 days beginning 102 days after the second vaccination (administered 30 days after the first vaccination). Eighty days following removal of BVDV-PI steers, heifers were commingled with 3 bulls with acute BHV1 infection for 14 days.

Results—After BVDV exposure, 1 fetus (not evaluated) was aborted by a vaccinated heifer; BVDV was detected in 0 of 19 calves from vaccinated heifers and in all 4 fetuses (aborted after BHV1 exposure) and 6 calves from unvaccinated heifers. Bovine herpesvirus 1 was not detected in any fetus or calf and associated fetal membranes in either treatment group. Vaccinated heifers had longer gestation periods and calves with greater birth weights, weaning weights, average daily gains, and market value at weaning, compared with those for calves born to unvaccinated heifers.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Prebreeding administration of a modified-live virus vaccine to heifers resulted in fewer abortions and BVDV-PI offspring and improved growth and increased market value of weaned calves.

Contributor Notes

Supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc.

Presented as a poster at the 43rd Annual American Association of Bovine Practitioners Conference, Albuquerque, August 2010.

The authors thank George R. Fincher, Jon C. Whitlock, Ben D. Mayo, and David L. Daniel Jr for technical assistance.

Address correspondence to Dr. Givens (givenmd@auburn.edu).