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  • Author or Editor: Brant A. Schumaker x
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OBJECTIVE To compare the humoral response between sheep vaccinated with a killed-virus (KV) vaccine and those vaccinated with a modified-live virus (MLV) vaccine against bluetongue virus (BTV) serotype 17.

DESIGN Randomized clinical trial followed by a field trial.

ANIMALS 30 yearling crossbred ewes (phase 1) and 344 sheep from 7 Wyoming farms (phase 2).

PROCEDURES In phase 1, ewes seronegative for anti-BTV antibodies received sterile diluent (control group; n = 10) or an MLV (10) or KV (10) vaccine against BTV-17 on day 0. Ewes in the KV group received a second dose of the vaccine on day 21. Ewes were bred 5 months after vaccination and allowed to lamb. Anti-BTV antibodies were measured in ewes at predetermined times after vaccination and in their lambs once at 5 to 10 days after birth. In phase 2, 248 commercial sheep were screened for anti-BTV antibodies and vaccinated with a KV vaccine against BTV-17 on day 0. Sheep seronegative for anti-BTV antibodies on day 0 (n = 90) underwent follow-up serologic testing on day 365 along with 96 unvaccinated cohorts (controls).

RESULTS In phase 1, all vaccinated ewes developed anti-BTV antibodies by 14 days after vaccination and remained seropositive for 1 year; all of their lambs were also seropositive. All control ewes and lambs were seronegative. In phase 2, the prevalence of vaccinated sheep with anti-BTV antibodies 1 year after vaccination was 93% and 76% as determined by a serum neutralization assay and competitive ELISA, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Both vaccines induced antibodies against BTV-17 that persisted for at least 1 year and provided passive immunity for lambs and may be a viable option to protect sheep against disease.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine the prevalence of antibodies against small ruminant lentivirus (SRLV), the causative agent of ovine progressive pneumonia (OPP), and to identify risk factors associated with OPP in Wyoming sheep flocks.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—1,415 sheep from 54 flocks in Wyoming.

Procedures—Flocks were surveyed as part of the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) 2011 sheep study. Serum samples obtained from sheep in Wyoming were analyzed for anti-SRLV antibodies by use of a competitive-inhibition ELISA. The prevalence of seropositive animals overall and within each flock was calculated. Respective associations between flock OPP status and various demographic and management variables were assessed.

Results—The estimated prevalence of sheep seropositive for anti-SRLV antibodies and OPP-infected flocks in Wyoming was 18.0% and 47.5%, respectively. Within OPP-infected flocks, the prevalence of seropositive sheep ranged from 3.9% to 96%. Flocks maintained on nonfenced range were more likely to be infected with OPP than were flocks maintained on fenced range (OR, 3.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 10.7). The estimated prevalence of OPP-infected flocks in Wyoming did not vary substantially from that at the regional or national level reported in the NAHMS 2001 sheep study. Compared with results of the NAHMS 2011 sheep study, Wyoming producers were more familiar with OPP than were other US sheep producers, but only 61% of Wyoming producers surveyed reported being very or somewhat familiar with the disease.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that OPP is prevalent in many Wyoming sheep flocks, which suggested that continued efforts are necessary to increase producer knowledge about the disease and investigate practices to minimize economic losses associated with OPP.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association