Control of Bovine Viral Diarrhea

Volker Moennig and Paul Becher

  • Institute of Virology, University of Veterinary Medicine, Bünteweg 17, D-30559 Hannover, Germany

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Bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) is one of the most important infectious diseases of cattle with respect to animal health and economic impact. Its stealthy nature, prolonged transient infections, and the presence of persistently infected (PI) animals as efficient reservoirs were responsible for its ubiquitous presence in cattle populations worldwide. Whereas it was initially thought that the infection was impossible to control, effective systematic control strategies have emerged over the last 25 years. The common denominators of all successful control programs were systematic control, removal of PI animals, movement controls for infected herds, strict biosecurity, and surveillance. Scandinavian countries, Austria, and Switzerland successfully implemented these control programs without using vaccination. Vaccination as an optional and additional control tool was used by e.g., Germany, Belgium, Ireland, and Scotland. The economic benefits of BVD control programs had been assessed in different studies.

Keywords: bovine viral diarrhea, viral persistence, systematic control, role of vaccination