BVD: dangerous sneaky virus

 

BVD is one of the most common viral diseases in the world livestock (60-80% prevalence). Most of the time, it remains subclinical and is not perceived as a threat by farmers. But in naive herds, it is often devastating.

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BVD Type 1 and Type 2

Volker Moennig

A new clinical condition caused by BVD resembling the fatal mucosal disease was described in 1989 and was attributed to a new type of BVD virus; BVD Type 2 . Similarly to BVD Type 1, not all BVD type 2 isolates are highly pathogenic . Only rare events of BVD type 2 virulent variants lead to dramatic hemorrhagic disease in cattle, as in the case of the 2013 North West Germany outbreaks.

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How BVD is transmitted

Axel Mauroy

The main risk of infection with BVD virus arises from direct transmission by persistently infected animals, which therefore need to detected and eliminated. Acutely infected animals can also contribute to the spread of bvd disease in cattle.

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BVD virus biotypes

Volker Moennig

BVD virus has two biotypes: non-cytopathic (ncp) and cytopathic (cp). Ncp are naturally-occuring bvd viruses which are well attenuated to cattle whilst cp rise by mutations from ncp strains and emerge from persistently infected animals causing severe bvd cow disease.

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Discover the history of BVD disease

Susanna Astiz

BVD was first described in North America in the 40s. The following decade, a cattle disease with the same clinical presentation was described in Germany. Subsequently, it was demonstrated that the causative viral agents of both diseases, and of the fatal mucosal disease, were the same. A newly recognised form of severe haemorrhagic disease was described in North America in the 90s and was associated with a distinct subgroup, BVD type 2, which is now also present in Europe.

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BVD virus: key characteristics

Volker Moennig

The BVD pestivirus is divided into two genotypes (type 1 and type 2), on the basis of genetic differences, and into two biotypes (non-cytopathic and cytopathic), based on effects on cultured cells. BVD virus has a broad host spectrum and is generally well adapted to the bovine host species where it causes mild disease. Highly virulent BVD variants (mainly type 2) may however emerge.

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