Specimen: Dry swab
Container: Sterile container
Collection protocol: For respiratory cases nasopharyngeal, nasal and conjunctival swabs are recommended. For cases with suspect genital tract infection, a vulval/vaginal swab, a penile mucosal swab or exudate from these sites are preferred. Semen for bulls is also accepted.
Special handling/shipping requirements: Dry swab samples are stable at room temperature and can be sent unrefrigerated. If collecting in the field in hot conditions, it is recommended that swabs be stored out of the heat preferable in a cooler until they can be transferred in doors to a controlled environment.
General information about the disease:
Bovine Herpesvirus 1 (BHV1) is an infectious agent that generally is found in the respiratory or genital tracts. It is the causative agent of a number of serious diseases in cattle and if not recognised early can cause significant problems in a herd including death in extreme cases.
There are three subtypes recognised worldwide: BHV1.1, BHV1.2a and BHV1.2b, although in New Zealand, only subtype 2b has been reported. All subtypes have been recognised to cause infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), infectious pustular vulvovaginitis (IPV) or infectious balanoposthitis (IBP), but the virus has been found associated with several other clinical conditions. BHV strains belonging to subtypes 1.1 and 1.2a, which are not present in New Zealand, are more virulent and cause severe respiratory disease and several other syndromes, including abortion.
Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis is a highly infectious disease. The virus naturally infects cattle, water buffaloes, goats, pigs and deer. The disease is characterised by nasal discharge, rhinitis, tracheitis, conjunctivitis and fever. In general, symptoms are short lived but can be prolonged in cases where other infections are present. Infected cattle can be excrete virus for some time after recovering from the clinical manifestations and therefore risking other members of the herd. This is particularly relevant to cattle kept in close quarters such as in feed lots. The BHV PCR will detect all type 1 strains of BHV and other closely related strains. The PCR is based on that developed by Wang et al. (2007; 2008) and accredited by the OIE
General information about when this test is indicated:
Suspicion of bovine herpesvirus infection; screening for disease in new introductions and breeding animals