Container: Red top or gel tube
Collection protocol: Venepuncture
Special handling/shipping requirements: Standard
General information about the disease:
Bovine herpesvirus-1 causes two diseases in cattle: infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and infectious pustular vulvovaginitis/ balanoposthitits (IPV/IBV). The clinical signs of IBR are characterised by fever and involvement of the upper respiratory tract, conjunctivitis, rhinitis and tracheitis. Secondary bacterial infections may lead to pneumonia, especially in intensively managed livestock, such as beef cattle in feedlots. The venereal forms of the disease result in pustular lesions in the prepuce and penile epithelium of the bull and vulva and vagina of the cow. These lesions can impair reproduction. Abortigenic strains of BoHV-1 have not been identified in Australasia.
The virus is spread both within and between herds mainly by horizontal transmission such as direct and indirect contact (fomites) and aerosol droplets, from infected bulls by coitus, and in infected semen either by artificial or natural insemination. Infection with BoHV-1 results in a lifelong latent infection that may be re-activated following stress or corticosteroid treatment resulting in virus excretion. A proportion of infected bulls will chronically excrete virus in their semen.
General information about when this test is indicated:
To determine if there has been previous infection with bovine herpes virus and a serological response. The ELISA test generates a positive or negative result to determine if infection has occurred or not. ELISA can also be used to determine freedom from infection.
Comparison with other related tests: PCR can be used to detect if bovine herpes virus is present in respiratory or reproductive tract discharges and is a useful test for acute clinical cases. To assess the size of the antibody response, virus neutralisation titres (VNT – referral test) on paired convalescent sera are required as an additional but more expensive test.