Twenty-four calves were immunised four times with gE-deleted infectious bovine rhinotracheitis marker vaccines before being challenged with small doses of wild-type bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1). The repeated vaccinations induced strong immunity that prevented detectable virus replication and gE-seroconversion after the challenge infection in most of the calves. The hypervaccinated calves that shed virus after the challenge infection showed no delay in gE-seroconversion compared with unvaccinated control calves. Using a sensitive nested PCR, BHV-1 gE sequences could be detected in the trigeminal ganglia of several of the gE-seronegative, challenge-infected calves, possibly indicating the presence of wild-type BHV-1 DNA.
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