Two groups of naive heifers were given primary courses of two inactivated bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) virus vaccines licensed for use in the UK. Their humoral responses in serum and milk were assayed by means of an indirect ELISA detecting antibodies to structural viral glycoproteins, a blocking ELISA specific for antibodies to the non-structural protein NS2-3 and the virus neutralisation test (VNT). For each assay, the numbers of serum or milk samples testing positive at each sample point and the mean values were determined. In both vaccine groups, serum antibody responses were detected by the indirect ELISA and the VNT, with both the numbers of seropositive animals and mean values peaking five weeks after the second vaccination. In the 23 heifers vaccinated with Bovilis BVD, the mean NS2-3-specific ELISA values remained low throughout the trial, with no serum or milk samples testing positive. In the 24 heifers vaccinated with Bovidec, the mean NS2-3 responses peaked below the level of positivity five weeks after the second vaccination, before declining again; NS2-3- specific antibodies were detected in one serum sample and one milk sample from two heifers in this group. A pooled milk sample from each vaccine group tested negative by both ELISAS 12 weeks after the second vaccination.
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