Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #301020


Location: Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research

Title: Experimental infection of pregnant goats with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV)1 or 2

item PASSLER, THOMAS - Auburn University
item RIDDELL, KAY - Auburn University
item EDMONDSON, MISTY - Auburn University
item CHAMORRO, MANUEL - Auburn University
item Neill, John
item BRODERSON, BRUCE - University Of Nebraska
item WALZ, HEATHER - Auburn University
item GALIK, PATRICIA - Auburn University
item ZHANG, YIJING - Auburn University
item WALZ, PAUL - Auburn University

Submitted to: Veterinary Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/4/2014
Publication Date: 4/4/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Passler, T., Riddell, K.P., Edmondson, M.A., Chamorro, M.F., Neill, J.D., Broderson, B.W., Walz, H.L., Galik, P.K., Zhang, Y., Walz, P.H. 2014. Experimental infection of pregnant goats with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV)1 or 2. Veterinary Research. 45:38. DOI: 10.1186/1297-9716-45-38.

Interpretive Summary: Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is a ubiquitous viral pathogen of cattle worldwide. It spreads readily among animals and among herds. BVDV can infect pregnant cattle that can result in the birth of a calf that is persistently infected and spreads the virus for life without developing the disease itself. The ability of BVDV to establish persistent infections in ruminants other than cattle has been documented but is not well understood. This study examined the generation of persistently infected goats. This study showed that most fetuses infected in utero died or were aborted. However, two were born alive, one that was euthanized shortly after birth and one that was apparently healthy, although possessing a low birth weight. This study characterized the infection of the doe and the fetus, revealing antibody titer increases in the does and the generally detrimental affect of the virus on the fetus. This is novel information in non-cattle ruminants and showed that the generation of persistently infected offspring in these ruminants may be an inefficient process.

Technical Abstract: Infections with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) of the genus pestivirus, family Flaviviridae, are not limited to cattle but occur in various artiodactyls. Persistently infected (PI) cattle are the main source of BVDV. Persistent infections also occur in heterologous hosts such as sheep and deer. BVDV infections of goats commonly result in reproductive disease, but viable PI goats are rare. Using 2 BVDV isolates, previously demonstrated to cause PI cattle and white-tailed deer, this study evaluated the outcome of experimental infection of pregnant goats. Pregnant goats (5 goats/group) were intranasally inoculated with BVDV 1b AU526 (group 1) or BVDV 2 PA131 (group 2) at approximately 25 - 35 days of gestation. The outcome of infection varied considerably between groups. In group 1, only 3 does became viremic, and 1 doe gave birth to a stillborn fetus and a viable PI kid, which appeared healthy and shed BVDV continuously. In group 2, all does became viremic, 4/5 does aborted, and 1 doe gave birth to a non-viable, presumably PI kid. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated BVDV antigen in tissues of evaluated fetuses, with similar distribution but reduced intensity as compared to cattle. The genetic sequence of inoculated viruses was compared to those from PI kids and their dam. Most nucleotide changes in group 1 were present during the dam’s acute infection. In group 2, a similar number of mutations resulted from fetal infection as from maternal acute infection. Results demonstrated that BVDV may cause reproductive disease but may also be maintained in goats.