Acta Vet. Brno 2013, 82: 125-130

Influence of category, herd size, grazing and management on epidemiology of bovine viral diarrhoea in dairy herds

Tomislav Bedeković1,*, Nina Lemo1,*, Ljubo Barbić2, Željko Cvetnić1, Ivana Lojkić1, Miroslav Benić1, Željko Čač1, Mirko Lojkić1, Josip Madić2

1Croatian Veterinary Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
2University of Zagreb, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagreb, Croatia

The aim of this study was to estimate the influence of category, herd size, common grazing and management as risk factors in maintaining bovine viral diarrhoea infection in dairy herds. A total of 987 sera samples obtained from 202 heifers, 653 cows and 132 calves from 103 herds in Croatia were examined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In order to establish the prevalence of persistently infected cattle, 35 herds were selected. Ear notch tissue samples from all animals in selected herds (n = 2284) were collected and analyzed by antigen enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The true prevalence of specific antibodies was 61.61% and the estimated prevalence of exposure to bovine viral diarrhoea virus at the herd level was 100%. The prevalence of persistently infected animals was 0.53% and the prevalence of persistently infected herds was 20%. The antibodies prevalence was higher in cows, in herds that use common pasture and in larger herds (P < 0.001). The prevalence of persistently infected animals was not connected with the herd size but production management on big farms contributed to maintaining the virus. The obtained results suggest that production management was an important risk factor in bovine viral diarrohea epidemiology. High prevalence of antibodies and high prevalence of persistently infected herds requires implementation of control and eradication programs at a national or even regional level. The presented data complete the BVD epidemiological investigations from this part of Europe.


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