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Monitoring the bulk milk antibody response to BVDV: the effects of vaccination and herd infection status
  1. R. E. Booth, BVSc, PhD, BSc (Hons), MRCVS1,
  2. M. P. Cranwell, BA, VetMB, MRCVS2 and
  3. J. Brownlie, CBE, BVSc, PhD, DSc, DSc(Hons), DipECVP, FRCPath, FRAgS, FRASE, FRCVS1
  1. 1Department of Pathology and Infectious Disease, Royal Veterinary College, Hawkshead Lane, North Mymms, Hertfordshire AL9 7TA, UK
  2. 2AHVLA Starcross, Staplake Mount, Starcross, Exeter, Devon EX6 8PE, UK
  1. E-mail for correspondence: rbooth{at}


Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus (BVDV) is a pestivirus in the flaviviridae family which affects cattle worldwide. Bulk milk (BM) antibody testing is frequently used as a relatively quick method of assessing herd BVDV exposure; however, an understanding of the effects of vaccination and historic infection is essential for test interpretation. This study investigated the trends exhibited by monthly BM antibody analysis in 14 herds split into three categories. Category 1 herds (vaccinating/no persistently infected (PI) animals) began the study with mid-positive BM antibody titres and experienced an estimated increase of 0.007 optical density (OD) units per month (equating to a rise of 0.35 OD units in 50 months). Category 2 herds (not vaccinating/no PI animals) began the study with mid-positive BM antibody titres and experienced an estimated decrease of 0.005 OD units per month with antibody levels in one category 2 herd taking 1290 days to decrease from mid-positive to negative. Category 3 herds (vaccinating/PI animals present) began the study with high BM antibody titres which plateaued within this range throughout the 50-month observation period. Vaccination was observed to cause transient increases in BM antibody in a number of herds in categories 1 and 3.

  • Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV)
  • Infectious diseases
  • Laboratory
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