Objective—To evaluate the efficacy of an adjuvanted modified-live bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) vaccine against challenge with a virulent type 2 BVDV strain in calves with or without maternal antibodies against the virus.
Animals—23 crossbred dairy calves.
Procedures—Calves were fed colostrum containing antibodies against BVDV or colostrum without antiBVDV antibodies within 6 hours of birth and again 8 to 12 hours after the first feeding. Calves were vaccinated with a commercial modified-live virus combination vaccine or a sham vaccine at approximately 5 weeks of age and challenged with virulent type 2 BVDV 3.5 months after vaccination. Clinical signs of BVDV infection, development of viremia, and variation in WBC counts were recorded for 14 days after challenge exposure.
Results—Calves that received colostrum free of antiBVDV antibodies and were vaccinated with the sham vaccine developed severe disease (4 of the 7 calves died or were euthanatized). Calves that received colostrum free of anti-BVDV antibodies and were vaccinated and calves that received colostrum with antiBVDV antibodies and were vaccinated developed only mild or no clinical signs of disease.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that the modified-live virus vaccine induced a strong protective immune response in young calves, even when plasma concentrations of maternal antibody were high. In addition, all vaccinated calves were protected against viral shedding, whereas control calves vaccinated with the sham vaccine shed virus for an extended period of time.