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Concurrent malignant catarrhal fever and bovine virus diarrhoea virus infection in a dairy herd
  1. RT Sharpe,
  2. SR Bicknell and
  3. AR Hunter


An account is given of an outbreak of malignant catarrhal fever which occurred in a 98-cow dairy herd. Ten animals died or were slaughtered and the disease was confirmed by clinical and histological examination. Serological tests for malignant catarrhal fever virus were positive in three of four animals. The diagnosis of malignant catarrhal fever was complicated by the presence of bovine virus diarrhoea virus infection in three of the early cases. The initial cases of malignant catarrhal fever occurred in a group of nine-month-old calves which were housed in an old milking parlour with 19 pedigree Suffolk ewes at lambing time. Later cases occurred in two adult cows and in two heifers. Investigations of the remainder of the herd for evidence of bovine virus diarrhoea virus did not reveal the presence of any persistently infected cattle. Serological examinations for antibody to malignant catarrhal fever and bovine virus diarrhoea virus were carried out on the 19 Suffolk ewes. Six of them had neutralising antibody titres to malignant catarrhal fever virus and three were positive in the indirect immunofluorescence test. The possible roles of bovine virus

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