Comparative pathogenicity of selected bovine viral diarrhea virus isolates in gnotobiotic lambs

C. J. Jewett From the Department of Veterinary Science, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0905.

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C. L. Kelling From the Department of Veterinary Science, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0905.

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M. L. Frey From the Department of Veterinary Science, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0905.

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A. R. Doster From the Department of Veterinary Science, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0905.

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SUMMARY

The infectivity and pathogenicity of selected bovine viral diarrhea virus (bvdv) isolates were determined in gnotobiotic, colostrum-deprived neonatal lambs. Five-day-old cesarean-derived gnotobiotic lambs were exposed to 1 of 10 bvdv. isolates via aerosol suspension. These isolates were from tissues or secretions of calves or lambs affected with respiratory tract disease, weak neonatal calves, aborted bovine fetuses, or reference Singer or Draper bvdv. The pathogenicity of each isolate, relative to the others, was evaluated in lambs by measurement of the neutralizing antibody response, virus isolation from nasal secretions or tissues, and postmortem lesions. The bvdv isolates varied in their infectivity and pathogenicity. Singer, the cytopathic reference strain, was the most lymphotrophic isolate and stimulated the greatest neutralizing antibody response. Encephalitis was the most consistent lesion observed and was used as the final determinant of relative pathogenicity of the viruses. The most neuropathogenic isolates were the 2 viruses originating from lambs affected with respiratory tract disease, the 2 weak neonatal calf isolates, and 1 isolate from an aborted bovine fetus. The least pathogenic isolates were the 2 reference isolates, Draper and Singer; the 2 mucosal disease isolates; and 1 isolate originating from an aborted bovine fetus.

SUMMARY

The infectivity and pathogenicity of selected bovine viral diarrhea virus (bvdv) isolates were determined in gnotobiotic, colostrum-deprived neonatal lambs. Five-day-old cesarean-derived gnotobiotic lambs were exposed to 1 of 10 bvdv. isolates via aerosol suspension. These isolates were from tissues or secretions of calves or lambs affected with respiratory tract disease, weak neonatal calves, aborted bovine fetuses, or reference Singer or Draper bvdv. The pathogenicity of each isolate, relative to the others, was evaluated in lambs by measurement of the neutralizing antibody response, virus isolation from nasal secretions or tissues, and postmortem lesions. The bvdv isolates varied in their infectivity and pathogenicity. Singer, the cytopathic reference strain, was the most lymphotrophic isolate and stimulated the greatest neutralizing antibody response. Encephalitis was the most consistent lesion observed and was used as the final determinant of relative pathogenicity of the viruses. The most neuropathogenic isolates were the 2 viruses originating from lambs affected with respiratory tract disease, the 2 weak neonatal calf isolates, and 1 isolate from an aborted bovine fetus. The least pathogenic isolates were the 2 reference isolates, Draper and Singer; the 2 mucosal disease isolates; and 1 isolate originating from an aborted bovine fetus.

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