Six cattle persistently infected with bovine virus diarrhoea virus (BVDV) and seronegative, and two control, virus negative seropositive cattle were inoculated with lymphocytes infected with bovine leukosis virus (BLV). The two controls produced a normal immune response to BLV, developing antibodies at four and five weeks after inoculation. Two of the six cattle persistently infected with BVDV developed a strong antibody response by six weeks after inoculation with BLV. Four developed a depressed response to BLV, characterised in three by a 'hooking' reaction in the immunodiffusion test which persisted in successive bleedings but was interspersed occasionally by a weak positive reaction. In one of these animals, a series of 'hooking' reactions was followed by a number of negative results. The fourth animal remained serologically negative until 16 weeks after inoculation when a 'hooking' reaction was observed followed by a series of negative results. BLV was isolated from all the cattle persistently infected with BVDV at 42 or 58 weeks after inoculation regardless of whether the serum samples gave negative, 'hooking', weak positive or positive reactions in the immunodiffusion test. BLV was consistently isolated from the nasal secretions of a steer which was BVDV negative but seropositive. The possibility of decreased immune responsiveness to BLV in animals persistently infected with BVDV should be considered when formulating regulations governing the testing of animals for freedom from BLV.
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