The prevalence of respiratory pathogens in diseased veal calves was determined in 24 respiratory disease outbreaks in 15 herds in Belgium. Bacteria were cultured from nasopharyngeal swabs and seroconversion against viruses and Mycoplasma bovis was determined on paired sera. At the individual calf level, Mycoplasma species, Mannheimia haemolytica and Pasteurella multocida, were isolated from 70.5 per cent, 21.5 per cent and 26.0 per cent of swabs, respectively. At the herd level, the presence of M bovis could be confirmed in 84.6 per cent of the herds examined. Seroconversion against bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) was present in 71.4 per cent of herds, parainfluenzavirus type 3 in 53.3 per cent, bovine respiratory syncytial virus in 40.0 per cent, bovine adenovirus type 3 in 46.7 per cent, bovine coronavirus in 30.0 per cent, and bovine herpesvirus type 1 in 26.7 per cent. At postmortem examination, Mycoplasma species could be cultured from 61.9 per cent of pneumonic lungs (n=21). Sixty per cent of calves tested were positive for BVDV (n=20), and 20.0 per cent were positive for bovine respiratory syncytial virus (n=16).
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