Transmission of bovine coronavirus and serologic responses in feedlot calves under field conditions

Christopher J. Thomas, Armando E. Hoet, Srinand Sreevatsan, Thomas E. Wittum, Robert E. Briggs, Glenn C. Duff, Linda J. Saif

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Abstract

Objective - To compare shedding patterns and serologic responses to bovine coronavirus (BCV) in feedlot calves shipped from a single ranch in New Mexico (NM calves) versus calves assembled from local sale barns in Arkansas (AR calves) and to evaluate the role of BCV on disease and performance. Animals - 103 feedlot calves from New Mexico and 100 from Arkansas. Procedures - Calves were studied from before shipping to 35 days after arrival at the feedlot. Nasal swab specimens, fecal samples, and serum samples were obtained before shipping, at arrival, and periodically thereafter. Bovine coronavirus antigen and antibodies were detected by use of an ELISA. Results - NM calves had a high geometric mean titer for BCV antibody at arrival (GMT, 1,928); only 2% shed BCV in nasal secretions and 1% in feces. In contrast, AR calves had low antibody titers against BCV at arrival (GMT, 102) and 64% shed BCV in nasal secretions and 65% in feces. Detection of BCV in nasal secretions preceded detection in feces before shipping AR calves, but at arrival, 73% of AR calves were shedding BCV in nasal secretions and feces. Bovine coronavirus infection was significantly associated with respiratory tract disease and decreased growth performance in AR calves. Conclusions and clinical relevance - Replication and shedding of BCV may start in the upper respiratory tract and spread to the gastrointestinal tract. Vaccination of calves against BCV before shipping to feedlots may provide protection against BCV infection and its effects with other pathogens in the induction of respiratory tract disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1412-1420
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of veterinary research
Volume67
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2006

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    Thomas, C. J., Hoet, A. E., Sreevatsan, S., Wittum, T. E., Briggs, R. E., Duff, G. C., & Saif, L. J. (2006). Transmission of bovine coronavirus and serologic responses in feedlot calves under field conditions. American journal of veterinary research, 67(8), 1412-1420. https://doi.org/10.2460/ajvr.67.8.1412