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Dynamics of bovine herpesvirus type 1 infection in Estonian dairy herds with and without a control programme
  1. K. Raaperi, DVM,
  2. A. Aleksejev, DVM,
  3. T. Orro, DVM, PhD and
  4. A. Viltrop, DVM, PhD
  1. Institute of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 62, Tartu, 51014, Estonia
  1. E-mail for correspondence Kerli.Raaperi{at}emu.ee

Bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1) is an important bovine pathogen, exacerbating poor health and the productivity of cattle. The aims of this study were to detect the efficacy of vaccination programmes in lowering the seroprevalence of BHV-1 gE within the dairy herd and to follow the dynamics of the infection in non-vaccinated herds with uninfected heifers. A two-year longitudinal study was carried out on seven herds that were vaccinated, and in five herds with uninfected heifers without applying a control programme. After the start of the vaccination programme, calves born remained free from the virus. However, in one herd, 7 per cent (95 per cent CI 2 to 18) of these animals showed antibodies to BHV-1 two years after the first vaccination. A decline in BHV-1 antibody prevalence was found in vaccinating herds. Among the five herds not under the control programme, one experienced active virus spread, although one herd experienced self-clearance of the virus. In the herds with high BHV-1 prevalence, vaccinating all cattle from three months of age twice a year with a commercial inactivated marker vaccine efficiently protected offspring from becoming infected, and lowered the prevalence of BHV-1 within the herd. A small proportion of herds may experience self-clearance of the virus.

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  • Accepted May 3, 2012.
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  • Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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