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  • Author or Editor: Hiroshi Tsunemitsu x
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To investigate in vitro antigenic relations, in vivo cross-protection, and isotype antibody responses to a winter dysentery (WD) and calf diarrhea strain of bovine coronavirus (BCV).

Design and Animals

Gnotobiotic and colostrum-deprived calves were inoculated oronasally with a WD (DBA) or a calf diarrhea (DB2) BCV, and were challenge exposed with the heterologous BCV.


Nasal swab and feces specimens and blood samples were collected. Fecal and nasal specimens were assayed for BCV shedding by antigen-capture ELISA or immune electron microscopy. Bovine coronavirus antigens were detected in nasal epithelial cells by immunofluorescence. Antibody titers to BCV in serum were assayed by virus neutralization (VN), and BCV antibody isotype titers in feces and sera were quantitated by ELISA.


All calves developed diarrhea and shed BCV nasally and in feces, then recovered and were protected from BCV-associated diarrhea after challenge exposure with the heterologous BCV. After challenge exposure with either strain, fecal shedding of DBA was detected in 1 of 4 calves and nasal shedding of DB2 was detected in 2 of 4 calves. Immunoglobulin M was the principal coproantibody to BCV early, followed predominantly by IgA. Immunoglobulin G1 coproantibody titers to BCV were low, but increased after challenge exposure. Immunoglobulin G1 antibodies were predominant in serum. After challenge exposure, all serum antibody isotype titers increased except IgG2. The VN antibody responses paralleled serum IgG1, antibody responses.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Immunoglobulin A coproantibodies at challenge exposure were associated with protection against diarrhea. Nasal shedding of BCV after challenge exposure confirmed field data documenting reinfection of the respiratory tract of cattle, suggesting that, in closed herds, respiratory tract infections constitute a source of BCV transmission to cows (WD) or young calves. (Am J Vet Res 1996;57:48-53)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research