Experimental infection of calves with epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus

Mark J. Abdy From the Department of Pathology (Abdy, Howerth) and the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (Stallknecht), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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 DVM, PhD
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Elizabeth E. Howerth From the Department of Pathology (Abdy, Howerth) and the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (Stallknecht), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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David E. Stallknecht From the Department of Pathology (Abdy, Howerth) and the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (Stallknecht), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602.

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Abstract

Objective

To determine whether experimental inoculation with a field strain of epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus serotype-2 (EHDV-2) suspected of causing clinical disease in naturally infected cattle would cause clinical disease in calves.

Animals

8 calves.

Procedure

A strain of EHDV-2 isolated from a white-tailed deer that died of hemorrhagic disease was passaged twice in deer and used to inoculate 6 calves SC and ID; the other 2 calves were used as controls. Physical examinations, CBC, lymphocyte blastogenesis assays, and coagulation assays were performed; rectal temperature, interferon production, and serum neutralizing antibody responses were measured; and virus isolation was attempted every other day for 21 days after inoculation and then every fourth day for another 30 days. Calves were euthanatized on postinoculation day 51, and necropsy was performed.

Results

Calves inoculated with EHDV-2 became infected, as evidenced by development of viremia and seroconversion. However, the virus did not cause detectable clinical disease, clinicopathologic abnormalities, or gross lesions. Viremia was prolonged despite development of a serum neutralizing antibody response. A white-tailed deer inoculated with the same EHDV-2 strain developed clinical signs of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, demonstrating that the inoculum was virulent.

Conclusion

Calves experimentally infected with EHDV-2 developed viremia and seroconverted but did not develop detectable clinical disease. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:621–626)

Abstract

Objective

To determine whether experimental inoculation with a field strain of epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus serotype-2 (EHDV-2) suspected of causing clinical disease in naturally infected cattle would cause clinical disease in calves.

Animals

8 calves.

Procedure

A strain of EHDV-2 isolated from a white-tailed deer that died of hemorrhagic disease was passaged twice in deer and used to inoculate 6 calves SC and ID; the other 2 calves were used as controls. Physical examinations, CBC, lymphocyte blastogenesis assays, and coagulation assays were performed; rectal temperature, interferon production, and serum neutralizing antibody responses were measured; and virus isolation was attempted every other day for 21 days after inoculation and then every fourth day for another 30 days. Calves were euthanatized on postinoculation day 51, and necropsy was performed.

Results

Calves inoculated with EHDV-2 became infected, as evidenced by development of viremia and seroconversion. However, the virus did not cause detectable clinical disease, clinicopathologic abnormalities, or gross lesions. Viremia was prolonged despite development of a serum neutralizing antibody response. A white-tailed deer inoculated with the same EHDV-2 strain developed clinical signs of epizootic hemorrhagic disease, demonstrating that the inoculum was virulent.

Conclusion

Calves experimentally infected with EHDV-2 developed viremia and seroconverted but did not develop detectable clinical disease. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:621–626)

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