Transmission of Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus from Acutely Infected White-tailed Deer to Cattle via Indirect Contact
Keywords:BVDV, bovine viral diarrhea viruses, transmission, indirect contact, cross-species, cervid
Bovine viral diarrhea viruses (BVDV) are found worldwide, and acute infections in cattle result in enteric, respiratory, and reproductive diseases of varying severity, depending on the BVDV strain, the immune and reproductive status of the host and the presence of secondary pathogens. While most commonly associated with cattle, there is evidence, based on serology and virus isolation, that BVDV replicates in a wide range of cervids. Because free-ranging cervid populations are frequently in contact with domestic cattle in the United States, possible transfer of BVDV between cattle and cervids has significant implication for proposed BVDV control programs. Previous research has demonstrated transmission of BVDV from persistently infected (Pl) deer to cattle and from PI cattle to deer via direct contact [1, 2]. While direct contact between wild cervids and cattle is observed in the field, indirect contact via cervid contamination of feed bunks, salt blocks and pasture is probably more common. Further, although PI animals are a major vector in the introduction of BVDV into naïve herds, circulation of the virus within a population is due, at least in part, to transmission of virus from acutely infected animals. In this study the transmission of BVDV to cattle from acutely infected deer via indirect contact is examined.