Bovine viral diarrhea (BVD), bovine viral diarrhoea (UK English) or mucosal disease, and previously referred to as bovine virus diarrhea (BVD), is an economically significant disease of cattle that is found in the majority of countries throughout the world. Worldwide reviews of the economically assessed production losses and intervention programs (e.g. eradication programs, vaccination strategies and biosecurity measures) incurred by BVD infection have been published. The causative agent, bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), is a member of the genus Pestivirus of the family Flaviviridae.
BVD infection results in a wide variety of clinical signs, due to its immunosuppressive effects, as well as having a direct effect on respiratory disease and fertility. In addition, BVD infection of a susceptible dam during a certain period of gestation can result in the production of a persistently infected (PI) fetus.
PI animals recognise intra-cellular BVD viral particles as ‘self’ and shed virus in large quantities throughout life; they represent the cornerstone of the success of BVD as a disease.
Currently, it was shown in a worldwide review study that the PI prevalence at animal level ranged from low (≤0.8% Europe, North America, Australia), medium (>0.8% to 1.6% East Asia) to high (>1.6% West Asia). Countries that had failed to implement any BVDV control and/or eradication programmes (including vaccination) had the highest PI prevalence.