story to find out more.
Microbiologist Julia Ridpath at the National
Animal Disease Center says the focus must be redirected when it comes to
fighting the bovine viral diarrhea virus. Here, she and animal caretaker Bruce
Gray collect ear notch samples to test for presence of the virus. Click the
image for more information about it.
New Approaches Needed To Fight This Cattle Virus
By Luis Pons
January 10, 2006
Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are ready to take to the
next level efforts to eradicate the bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV).
BVDV causes animal diseases that affect reproduction and nutrition, milk
production and respiratory function. Pregnant cows that are infected can have
spontaneous abortions or give birth prematurely, while calves born with BVDV
may be persistent carriers that can infect additional herds.
There's no treatment for BVDV, which costs U.S. cattle producers millions of
dollars in losses each year.
According to microbiologist
Ridpath of ARS
Animal Disease Center in Ames, Iowa, decades of vaccination and voluntary
control programs aimed at eliminating the virus from the United States have not
Also at Ames, microbiologist
Neill is applying a method that detects alterations in cancer cells in
humans toward understanding disease mechanisms in animals infected with the
An extensive management program encompassing vigilance, biosecurity
education and continued research is needed, according to Ridpath. She recently
launched a study with the Northeast Iowa Community-Based
Dairy Foundation in Calmar, focusing on newborn calves response to
BVDV vaccination. This study is the subject of a cooperative research and
development agreement that runs through 2006.
Meanwhile, Neill is applying serial analysis of gene expression (SAGE) -- a
technology developed in the mid-1990s for detecting gene-expression alterations
that tell how cancer cells differ from normal cells -- against BVDV.
Neill is using SAGE to compare cattle gene expression in normal cells to
that in BVDV-infected cells. Hes also studying the pathology and
immunosuppressive properties of the virus -- work that may lead to a simple
serum test for rapidly detecting persistently infected animals and improved
more about the research in the January 2006 issue of Agricultural
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.