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Significance of Pestivirus in Cattle in Australia

This project involved a review of possible cases of pestivirus infection that were investigated at diagnostic veterinary laboratories in all mainland states during 2001. The review included cases of reproductive disease (abortion, infertility, stillbirths, congenital defects), respiratory diseases, illthrift, wasting and mucosal disease. A number of field veterinarians were also interviewed to assess their knowledge of pestivirus infections. 1595 laboratory accessions were subjected to detailed review, 44.3% involved reproductive disease, 27.7% involved other diseases of weaners and 28.0% other diseases of older cattle. Pestivirus infection was confirmed in 253 (23.2%) cases and 90% of these were from beef cattle.  

There were differences in the numbers of confirmed cases and diseases observed in different states. It was concluded that pestivirus was an important cause of disease in beef cattle in Australia. There is a need for continuing education about pestivirus in the veterinary profession to improve diagnosis. There was also scope for better use of laboratory tests. When pestvirus vaccines are launched in Australia in the near future, they should be accompanied by education programs for both veterinarians and farmers, so that vaccines are used efficiently and losses caused by this virus are reduced.

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This page was last updated on 05/11/2014

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