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Cattle health
Bleeding disorders in calves
  1. Michael Millar1,
  2. Sandra Scholes2,
  3. Kat Bazeley3,
  4. Tobias Floyd4,
  5. Paul Holmes5 and
  6. Gareth Hateley6
  1. 1Farm Animal Pathology Service, School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Bristol, Langford, Bristol BS40 5DU
  2. 2SAC Consulting Veterinary Services, Edinburgh Disease Surveillance Centre, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0QE
  3. 3Synergy Farm Health, West Hill Barns, Evershot DT2 0LD
  4. 4APHA Weybridge, New Haw, Addlestone, Weybridge, Surrey KT15 3NB
  5. 5APHA Shrewsbury, Kendal Road, Shrewsbury SY1 4HD
  6. 6APHA Lasswade, Pentlands Science Park, Bush Loan, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0PZ; e-mail:

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WE wish to highlight the occurrence of a bleeding disorder in calves clinically and histopathologically indistinguishable from bovine neonatal pancytopenia (BNP), where there is no possibility of ingestion of colostrum derived from PregSure-vaccinated cattle.

BNP was first recognised as a clinicopathological entity in Europe in 2007 (Bastian and others 2011) and in the UK in 2009 (Penny and others 2009), defined as a haemorrhagic disease occurring in calves less than 28 days of age and involving bone marrow lesions of trilineage hypoplasia (severe depletion of all three main haematopoietic cell lineages) (Lambton and others 2012). It has been diagnosed in calves of many breeds between one and four weeks of age, and a strong association has been demonstrated with vaccination of the dam with the bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) vaccine PregSure (Lambton and others 2012, Sauter-Louis and others 2012). Field and experimental data strongly suggest the pathogenesis involves colostral alloantibody-mediated destruction of haematopoietic progenitor cells in bone marrow. This results in cytopenias, including thrombocytopenia, and hence bleeding.

BNP is still being diagnosed despite the withdrawal of the PregSure vaccine in 2010, both in calves born to PregSure-vaccinated cows that have previously had affected calves, but also in calves born to cows that previously raised …

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