Could we eradicate BVD?

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The bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) virus, and related viruses in the “pestivirus” classification, cause considerable economic damage through reproductive losses in cow herds and as a contributor to bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in feedyards.

Transmission of the virus, and its introduction into herds, typically is associated with the presence of persistently infected (PI) calves, which are relatively uncommon, preventable and can be identified through diagnostic testing. So could the U.S. beef industry eradicate the disease? A pair of upcoming conference will explore that possibility, along with current science of BVD diagnostics, prevention and control.

On October 13 in Kansas City, the Kansas State Diagnostic Laboratory, Life Technologies and Merck Animal Health will sponsor a conference titled “Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus Eradication: Reality or Myth?” That conference precedes the 2014 BVDV/ESVV Pestivirus Symposium, titled “Pestiviruses: Old Enemies, New Challenges,” scheduled for October 14 and 15.

While the two conferences will take place consecutively in the same hotel, each has its own registration.

The BVDV eradication conference will feature the following presentations.

  • BVDV Epidemiology and Economic Impact: The science and economics of why we can and need to eradicate BVDV. Dr. John VanLeeuwen, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada
  • BVDV Eradication: Vaccination and Diagnostics, Where do producers start? Dr. Tom Shelton, Merck Animal Health
  • BVDV Diagnostic Options for Practitioners and Producers: How KSVDL offers guidance for using PCR to prevent and control BVDV on US beef operations. Dr. Gregg Hanzlicek, Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
  • BVDV Regional Eradication Success: Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Dr. Dan Grooms, Michigan State University
  • Keeping BVDV Out: Proactive detection of HoBi-Like virus with Real-time PCR. Dr. Johnny Callahan, Life Technologies / Simone Silveira – Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil (UFRGS)
  • Beef and dairy operation BVDV bio-security vulnerability points. Dr. Dan Thomson, Kansas State University

Online registration is available for Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus Eradication: Reality or Myth?

Beginning the next day, the joint 2014 BVDV/ESVV Pestivirus Symposium is a collaboration between a consortium of U.S. researchers organized five BVD symposia held at three-year intervals, and the European Society of Veterinary Virology, which has held a series of eight symposia focusing on characterization and control of pestivirus infections including BVDV. This is the first time that the two groups have joined together to organize a joint symposium.

This joint meeting, to be held will feature talks by researchers from North America, South America, Australia and Europe. It will be divided into three sessions focusing on the latest research in the following areas:

  • Pestiviruses and the Immune System
  • Genetic Variability and Evolution of the Known Pestiviruses
  • "Old" Pestiviruses in New Hosts and the Emergence of New Pestiviruses

The full agenda and registration information are available on the U.S. Animal Health Association website



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Dr Dan    
Ohio  |  August, 20, 2014 at 02:20 PM

Years ago the "experts" told us we could not eliminate Johne from a herd with a solid vac program, we had to go to an expensive testing program. They were wrong. Now these experts tell us this testing program with eliminate BVD. Really?

Enoch Bergman DVM    
Australia  |  August, 20, 2014 at 04:14 PM

Absolutely we can eradicate BVD, and further, it will benefit producers to do so. Johne's disease is tenuously linked to Crohn's disease, a debilitating disease in man. As of yet no definitive proof has been found, but it has perhaps put more emphasis on control of the disease than is appropriate considering the cost to producers of the disease and the quality of the diagnostics available. BVD on the other hand is a hidden disease costing US beef and dairy producers enormously and the diagnostic tools are incredibly accurate and simple to sample with. Ear notch testing to diagnose PI animals is as close to perfect accuracy as exists for a diagnostic test and can be sampled without special skill. Control the PI, control the disease. Can American farmers and ranchers eradicate BVD? You bet! Can we get everybody to agree? Maybe not. Can YOU eradicate and maintain freedom from BVD on your property? Absolutely. Don't do it to be a leader, do it to be more profitable.


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