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Factors associated with the spread of bovine viral diarrhoea virus in Scotland

M. C. Gates, M. E. J. Woolhouse, G. J. Gunn, R. W. Humphry

BOVINE viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) causes abortion, infertility, immunosuppression and other clinical signs in affected cattle. In September 2010, Scotland launched the first phase of a BVDV eradication campaign. This study aimed to determine the effect of cattle movements on herd serological status and to assess the use and efficacy of biosecurity measures against BVDV on cattle farms in Scotland.

The researchers used data from two national studies conducted in Scotland between October 2006 and May 2008; one in the beef suckler industry and one in the dairy industry. In the beef suckler study, 249 herds from across Scotland were included in the final analysis. Farmers completed a questionnaire and blood samples were taken from randomly selected cattle to assess BVDV status. Sixty-five herds were found to be seropositive and the remainder were used as control herds. In the study of dairy cattle, bulk milk tank samples were taken from herds that did not routinely vaccinate against BVDV (so that the results were not confounded by vaccinal antibodies) and 185 farms were included in the final analysis; 119 BVDV seropositive herds and 66 control herds.

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