A positive relationship was found between the prevalence of cows in a herd which were antibody-positive for bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) and the level of antibodies to the virus in bulk tank milk as determined by an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In herds with an ELISA absorbance value of up to 0.20 there were very few or no antibody-positive cows, whereas in herds with an ELISA absorbance value of at least 0.81, 87 to 100 per cent of the lactating cows were antibody-positive to BVDV. An analysis of the level of antibodies to BVDV in milk samples from Sweden and Finland showed that of 123 Swedish herds, 83.7 per cent had detectable antibodies to BVDV in their bulk milk whereas only 3.1 per cent of the 291 Finnish samples were antibody-positive. The incidence of BVDV infection in 105 herds in one area of Sweden was determined by analysing two samples of bulk tank milk taken one year apart. The infection had apparently occurred recently in five of these dairy herds.
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