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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #251872

Title: Comparison of Detection of Bovine Virus Diarrhea Virus Antigen in Various Types of Tissue and Fluid Samples Collected from Persistently Infected Cattle

item VANDER LEY, BRIAN - Iowa State University
item Ridpath, Julia
item SWEIGER, SHAUN - Iowa State University

Submitted to: Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/24/2010
Publication Date: 1/20/2011
Citation: Vander Ley, B.L., Ridpath, J.F., Sweiger, S.H. 2011. Comparison of detection of bovine virus diarrhea virus antigen in various types of tissue and fluid samples collected from persistently infected cattle. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation. 23(1):84-86.

Interpretive Summary: Infection with bovine viral diarrhea viruses (BVDV) results in significant economic loss to U.S. beef and dairy producers. Because animals persistently infected (PI) with BVDV are the main means for introduction of BVDV into cattle herds, removal of PI animals is a major goal of BVDV control programs. The purpose of this study was to compare detection of PI animals using different types of samples. Currently, skin samples are the tissue of choice for detection. However, skin samples are not always submitted to diagnostic laboratories in outbreaks of disease of unknown origin and some owners of show cattle complain that skin biopsies spoil the appearance of show cattle. Eight different sample types were compared. It was found that nasal swabs were as reliable as skin samples for detecting PI animals. Nasal swabs are easy to collect and do not affect the appearance of animals. For these reasons, the authors suggest that nasal swabs may be a good alternative to skin samples.

Technical Abstract: Bovine viral diarrhea viruses are economically important pathogens of cattle. Most new infections are acquired from animals persistently infected with the virus. Surveillance programs rely on skin biopsies for detection of persistently infected cattle. The purpose of this study was to compare antigen capture ELISA testing results using different types of samples from known persistently infected animals. The intent was to determine comparative detection rates in types of samples that are frequently submitted to diagnostic laboratories for evaluation of cases of unknown etiology or types of samples that could be easily collected for bovine viral diarrhea virus screening. Eight types of samples were collected from 40 persistently infected animals. The eight sample types were ear notches, serum, nasal swabs, conjunctival swabs, oral swabs, rectal swabs, vaginal/preputial swabs, and a tail skin fold biopsy. Each type of sample (n = 8) for each animal (n = 40) was evaluated with a commercial antigen capture ELISA kit. When compared to immunohistochemistry, ear notch, tail skin fold, and nasal swab samples were 98% accurate using antigen capture ELISA. Accuracy using other samples was as follows: serum and vaginal/preputial swabs (90%), conjunctival swabs (63%), rectal swabs (10%), and oral swabs (8%). Testing of tail skin fold biopsies, nasal swabs, and ear notch samples resulted in reliable results. Serum and vaginal/preputial swabs were accurate 90% of the time. In contrast, testing of other sample types missed > 30% to > 90% of the persistently infected animals tested. These results indicate that nasal swabs may be a viable sample for antigen detection.