Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus is endemic in cattle populations in the United States and other countries around the world. BVDV can infect susceptible cattle of all ages, but is especially costly when it infects pregnant females. The virus causes major economic losses from poor reproductive performance, increased abortions and poor calf performance. Calves born infected with the virus are infected for life. Those animals persistently infected shed virus in all their excretions. Clinical disease and reproductive problems can be seen in cattle after they come into contact with the PI animal.
BVD Test specifics
The antigen capture ELISA test is an accurate, rapid method of identifying cattle persistently infected with BVDV. The test can be performed on either serum or skin biopsy (ear notch) samples stored in phosphate buffered saline solution (PBS). Once started, the test takes 4 hours to complete.
Serum from calves should not be submitted for testing unless the sample was collected prior to feeding colostrum or the calf is >3 months of age. This is due to maternal antibody interference, which can increase the risk of false negative results.
Skin biopsy samples can be submitted from cattle of any age, including young calves < 3 months of age.
Although rare, there is a slight chance of the test detecting a transient infection. Therefore animals that test positive are often retested 3 weeks later for verification of PI status.
BVD Sample collection and handling
Serum samples should be collected in red top serum tubes and stored chilled prior to submission to the lab. If blood samples are to be stored more than a few days prior to submission, serum should be removed from the clot. Separated serum samples can be frozen and stored for longer periods of time if necessary.
Skin biopsy samples should be collected into individual tubes and the tubes labeled with date, client name and ID. Samples should be frozen prior to shipment. A 1cm x 1cm ear notch is required.
Ship so that samples are received in 1-2 days and always ship samples on ice (cold packs best).
Which Animals to sample
All calves born alive and dead should be tested
Any cow that has a PI infected calf should be tested
New purchased animals