Submitted to: Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/3/2006
Publication Date: 11/1/2006
Citation: Driskell, E.A., Ridpath, J.F. 2006. A survey of bovine viral diarrhea virus testing in diagnostic labs in the United States from 2004 to 2005. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 18(6):600-605. Interpretive Summary: Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is an important pathogen of cattle. Outbreaks of BVDV are usually traceable to exposure to an animal persistently infected (PI) with BVDV. The economic losses associated with BVDV infections have prompted the call for a national BVDV control/eradication program. One of the key elements in a BVDV control program will be the detection and elimination of PI animals. Before we can design such a program we need to know what tests veterinary diagnostic laboratories are using to detect BVDV. In this study we sent out questionnaires to the 46 veterinary diagnostic laboratories accredited by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians. We got replies from 26 laboratories in 23 states. Tabulating the responses revealed no clear consensus on test type, sample used or method of testing. Further, the majority of laboratories were not providing follow up information on how to handle PI animals to practitioners or producers following positive tests. These results indicate a discussion of BVDV testing needs to happen on a national level before an effective BVDV control program can be put into effect.
Technical Abstract: Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) has great economic impact on the United States cattle industry. Several groups involved in the cattle industry have called for the goal of BVDV control and eventual eradication in the United States. One of the key factors in such efforts will be the detection of BVDV infections, particularly persistently infected animals. In order to assess current practices in BVDV detection in the U.S., 26 different veterinary diagnostic laboratories in 23 states were surveyed. Survey questions related to tests currently offered, number of tests done, why testing was requested, what samples were used, policies on pooling and whether follow up testing or information was provided following positive tests. There was no clear consensus in practice on a BVDV testing method, pooling or on retesting positives. Ear notch antigen ELISA (ACE) was the most frequently run test based on absolute number of tests run. However when data was normalized per laboratory, the use of ear notch ACE and ear notch immunohistochemistry were nearly equal in frequency. Only 55% of diagnostic laboratories provided follow up information to producers or veterinarians that had submitted positive samples. There was no significant difference in the number of positive tests in laboratories that received the majority of their samples for screening purposes verses laboratories that received the majority of their samples because there were BVDV suspects based on clinical signs in a herd.