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Effect of constant exposure to cattle persistently infected with bovine viral diarrhea virus on morbidity and mortality rates and performance of feedlot cattle

Daniel L. GroomsDepartment of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.

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Kenny V. BrockDepartment of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.

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Steven R. BolinDepartment of Pathobiology and Diagnostic Investigation, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.

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Dale M. GrotelueschenZoetis, 5 Giralda Farms, Madison, NJ 07940.

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Victor S. CorteseZoetis, 5 Giralda Farms, Madison, NJ 07940.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of constant exposure to cattle persistently infected (PI) with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) on health and performance of feedlot cattle.

Design—3 controlled trials.

Animals—Crossbred feedlot cattle (trial 1, n = 184; trial 2, 138; trial 3, 138).

Procedures—Weaned calves were or were not vaccinated against BVDV at feedlot arrival (trial 1) or 2 (trial 2) or 3 (trial 3) weeks before feedlot arrival. During trial 1, half of the calves were commingled with PI cattle throughout the feeding period. During trial 2, 63 calves were exposed to PI cattle before weaning and all calves were exposed to PI cattle throughout the feeding period. During trial 3, all study calves were exposed to PI cattle throughout the feeding period. Morbidity and mortality rates and average daily gain (ADG) data were analyzed.

Results—During trial 1, calves maintained with PI cattle had a higher morbidity rate regardless of BVDV vaccination than did calves not exposed to PI cattle; however, for calves maintained with PI cattle, the morbidity rate for those vaccinated against BVDV was less than that for those not vaccinated against BVDV. During trial 2, calves exposed to PI cattle before weaning or vaccinated against BVDV had lower morbidity and mortality rates and increased ADG, compared with those for calves not exposed to PI cattle before weaning or vaccinated against BVDV. During trial 3, health and performance did not vary between calves that were and were not vaccinated against BVDV.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Exposure of cattle to BVDV naturally or through vaccination before or at feedlot arrival mitigated the negative effects of constant exposure to PI cattle.

Abstract

Objective—To determine the effects of constant exposure to cattle persistently infected (PI) with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) on health and performance of feedlot cattle.

Design—3 controlled trials.

Animals—Crossbred feedlot cattle (trial 1, n = 184; trial 2, 138; trial 3, 138).

Procedures—Weaned calves were or were not vaccinated against BVDV at feedlot arrival (trial 1) or 2 (trial 2) or 3 (trial 3) weeks before feedlot arrival. During trial 1, half of the calves were commingled with PI cattle throughout the feeding period. During trial 2, 63 calves were exposed to PI cattle before weaning and all calves were exposed to PI cattle throughout the feeding period. During trial 3, all study calves were exposed to PI cattle throughout the feeding period. Morbidity and mortality rates and average daily gain (ADG) data were analyzed.

Results—During trial 1, calves maintained with PI cattle had a higher morbidity rate regardless of BVDV vaccination than did calves not exposed to PI cattle; however, for calves maintained with PI cattle, the morbidity rate for those vaccinated against BVDV was less than that for those not vaccinated against BVDV. During trial 2, calves exposed to PI cattle before weaning or vaccinated against BVDV had lower morbidity and mortality rates and increased ADG, compared with those for calves not exposed to PI cattle before weaning or vaccinated against BVDV. During trial 3, health and performance did not vary between calves that were and were not vaccinated against BVDV.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Exposure of cattle to BVDV naturally or through vaccination before or at feedlot arrival mitigated the negative effects of constant exposure to PI cattle.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Brock's present address is Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Auburn, AL 36849.

Dr. Grotelueschen's present address is Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Clay Center, NE 68933.

Supported by Pfizer Animal Health.

Address correspondence to Dr. Grooms (groomsd@cvm.msu.edu).