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Transmission of BVDV from cattle to goats and among goats

C. Bachofen, H-R. Vogt, H. Stalder, T. Mathys, R. Zanoni, M. Hilbe and others

Infection of cattle with bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) can result in reproductive failure or persistently infected (PI) offspring. However, the virus is not restricted to cattle; BVDV has been detected in other domestic animals, including sheep and goats. This study investigated the transmission of BVDV between a PI calf and a PI goat to healthy pregnant goats.

A female adult goat was housed as social companion with a PI calf with BVDV. Four months after first exposure to the PI calf, the goat gave birth to a small but healthy PI kid. Subsequently, five seronegative pregnant goats were housed with the PI calf for seven days (group A). In a separate experiment, three seronegative pregnant goats were exposed to the PI kid for 21 days (group B). Blood samples were taken from all pregnant goats throughout the study.

All group A goats were seropositive for BVDV by day 28 after first exposure to the PI calf. All of the goats aborted, most of them being in late gestation. BVD viral RNA was detected in the abdominal …

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