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Objective—To assess the transmission of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) from experimentally infected white-tailed deer fawns to colostrum-deprived calves by use of a BVDV strain isolated from hunter-harvested white-tailed deer.

Animals—5 white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) fawns and 6 colostrum-deprived calves.

Procedures—Fawns were inoculated intranasally with a noncytopathic BVDV-1a isolate (2 mL containing 106.7 TCID50/mL), and 2 days after inoculation, animals were commingled until the end of the study. Blood and serum samples were obtained on days −6, 0, 7, 14, and 21 after inoculation for reverse transcriptase PCR assay, virus neutralization, and BVDV-specific antibody ELISA. Nasal, oral, and rectal swab specimens were collected on days 0, 3, 7, 14, 17, and 21 for reverse transcriptase PCR testing. By 21 days after inoculation, all animals were euthanized and necropsied and tissues were collected for histologic evaluation, immunohistochemical analysis, and virus isolation.

Results—All fawns became infected and shed the virus for up to 18 days as determined on the basis of reverse transcriptase PCR testing and virus isolation results. Evidence of BVDV infection as a result of cohabitation with acutely infected fawns was detected in 4 of the 6 calves by means of reverse transcriptase PCR testing and virus isolation.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—On the basis of these findings, BVDV transmission from acutely infected fawns to colostrum-deprived calves appeared possible.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To describe an outbreak of encephalomyelitis caused by West Nile virus (WNV) in horses in northern Indiana.

Design—Case series.

Animals—170 horses.

Procedure—Horses with clinical signs suggestive of encephalomyelitis caused by WNV were examined. Date, age, sex, breed, and survival status were recorded. Serum samples were tested for anti-WNV antibodies, and virus isolation was attempted from samples of brain tissue. Climate data from local weather recording stations were collected. An epidemic curve was constructed, and case fatality rate was calculated.

Results—The most common clinical signs were ataxia, hind limb paresis, and muscle tremors and fasciculations. Eight horses had been vaccinated against WNV from 2 to 21 days prior to the appearance of clinical signs. West Nile virus was isolated from brain tissue of 2 nonvaccinated horses, and anti-WNV IgM antibodies were detected in 132 nonvaccinated horses; in 2 other nonvaccinated horses, anti-WNV antibodies were detected and WNV was also isolated from brain tissue. Thirty-one (22.8%) horses died or were euthanatized. The peak of the outbreak occurred on September 6, 2002. Ambient temperatures were significantly lower after the peak of the outbreak, compared with prior to the peak.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The peak risk period for encephalomyelitis caused by WNV in northern Indiana was mid-August to mid-September. Reduction in cases coincided with decreasing ambient temperatures. Because of a substantial case fatality rate, owners of horses in northern Indiana should have their horses fully protected by vaccination against WNV before June. In other regions of the United States with a defined mosquito breeding season, vaccination of previously nonvaccinated horses should commence at least 4 months before the anticipated peak in seasonal mosquito numbers, and for previously vaccinated horses, vaccine should be administered no later than 2 months before this time. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:84–89)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Poly(methacrylic acid) hydrogels were tested for oral delivery of a vaccine against Pasteurella haemolytica infection in cattle. Culture supernatants of P haemolytica, the most common bacterium associated with pneumonia in cattle, were used as the antigens in the vaccine. Hydrogels containing culture supernatants were administered orally to calves. Calves were then challenge-exposed with virulent P haemolytica. Calves were euthanatized 3 days after challenge exposure. The lungs of each calf were scored for severity and size of pneumonic lesions. Results indicated that vaccinated calves had smaller, less severe pneumonic lesions and lived longer than nonvaccinated calves. These results indicated that hydrogels can be used to deliver vaccines orally to calves to enhance resistance to pneumonia caused by P haemolytica.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To identify risk factors for equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) among horses examined at 11 equine referral hospitals.

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—183 horses with EPM, 297 horses with neurologic disease other than EPM (neurologic controls), and 168 horses with non-neurologic diseases (non-neurologic controls) examined at 11 equine referral hospitals in the United States.

Procedures—A study data form was completed for all horses. Data were compared between the case group and each of the control groups by means of bivariate and multivariate polytomous logistic regression.

Results—Relative to neurologic control horses, case horses were more likely to be ≥ 2 years old and to have a history of cats residing on the premises. Relative to non-neurologic control horses, case horses were more likely to be used for racing or Western performance.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that cats may play a role in the natural epidemiology of EPM, that the disease is less common among horses < 2 years of age relative to other neurologic diseases, and that horses used for particular types of competition may have an increased risk of developing EPM.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association