Article Text

Femoral and tibial fractures in a newborn calf after transplacental infection with bovine viral diarrhoea virus
  1. PD Constable,
  2. BL Hull,
  3. JR Wicks and
  4. W Myer


A one-week-old Brown Swiss calf had fractures of the metaphyseal regions of the left femur and right tibia, and a generalised, severe derangement of osteogenesis. Alternating zones of sclerosis and radiolucency in the metaphysis of all the long bones was visible radiographically. A histopathological examination revealed a segmental disruption of trabecular modelling, with subsequent fracture. Immunohistochemistry using a monoclonal antibody for bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) virus revealed abundant viral antigen in the pituitary gland, hypothalamus and thyroid gland. Intestinal tissue was positive on fluorescent antibody testing for the virus. The lesions indicate that transplacental infection with BVD virus can result in severe skeletal abnormalities and fractures.

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