Bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) eradication in Switzerland-Experiences of the first two years.

Presi, P; Struchen, R; Knight-Jones, T; Scholl, S; Heim, D; (2011) Bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) eradication in Switzerland-Experiences of the first two years. Preventive veterinary medicine, 99 (2-4). pp. 112-21. ISSN 0167-5877 DOI:

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A national eradication programme was designed with the aim of achieving total freedom from bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) infection in the Swiss cattle population. The eradication programme consisted of testing every Swiss bovine for antigen, culling virus-positive animals and applying movement restrictions. Starting in 2008, the campaign achieved the goal of reducing the proportion of newborn calves that were virus-positive from 1.8% to under 0.2% within two years (situation in September 2010). Both good data flow between the parties involved as well as speed and efficiency (e.g. concerning the application of tests, movement restrictions and slaughter) are central to the success of the programme. Since the beginning of the programme 2.85 million cattle have been tested for bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV). The BVD-prevalence in cattle at the individual and herd levels following the implementation of the eradication programme was assessed. Using data collected during this campaign a risk factor analysis was conducted in order to identify factors associated with the appearance of virus positive newborn calves in herds where BVD had not previously been detected; these risk factors would allow targeting of future surveillance. Herd size, early death rate (i.e. the number of animals that either die before 15 days of age or are stillborn per number of newborns per year), buying in stock, using communal summer grazing, production type, age structure and management strategy were factors associated with the appearance of new cases of infection. Testing of newborn calves for antigen will continue to be conducted until the end of 2011, this is combined with outbreak investigation of newly infected herds (consisting of re-testing dams of virus-positive calves and if necessary all cattle on or that recently left the farm). This process is done to identify infected animals that may have been missed during prior testing (false negatives), it also serves to identify other factors that may be responsible for the introduction of BVDV onto the farm. Since October 2009, testing of calves for antigen combined with outbreak investigation has led to the detection of 55 infected animals that had tested negative (presumably false negative) during previous rounds of testing.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 21371766
Web of Science ID: 290186100005


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