Objective—To determine whether a combination viral vaccine containing a modified-live bovine herpesvirus-1 (BHV-1) would protect calves from infection with virulent field strains of BHV-1 for weeks or months after vaccination.
Design—Randomized controlled trial, performed in 2 replicates.
Animals—63 weaned 4- to 6-month-old crossbred beef calves seronegative for antibody against BHV-1.
Procedures—Calves were randomly allocated to 1 of 2 treatment groups. Control calves (n = 10/replicate) received a combination modified-live mixed viral vaccine without BHV-1, and treatment calves (20 and 23/replicate) received a combination modified-live mixed viral vaccine containing BHV-1. Each group was challenged via aerosol with 1 of 2 field strains of BHV-1, 30 days after vaccination in replicate 1 and 97 days after vaccination in replicate 2. After challenge, calves were commingled in 1 drylot pen. Clinical signs, immune responses, and nasal shedding of virus were monitored for 10 days after challenge, after which the calves were euthanatized and tracheal lesions were assessed.
Results—Vaccination stimulated production of BHV-1–specific IgG antibody that cross-neutralized several field and laboratory strains of BHV-1. Challenge with both field strains of BHV-1 resulted in moderate to severe respiratory tract disease in control calves. Treatment calves had significantly fewer signs of clinical disease, shed less BHV-1, had less or no weight loss after challenge, and had fewer tracheal lesions than control calves for at least 97 days after vaccination.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Administration of the combination modified-live BHV-1 vaccine yielded significant disease-sparing effects in calves experimentally infected with virulent field strains of BHV-1.