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Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV)

12th May, 2023 Science and Technology

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  • US scientists have produced a first ever gene-edited calf that is resistant to a bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV).
  • It may help reduce reliance on antimicrobials against cattle disease.

What is Bovine Viral Diarrhoea?

  • Bovine Viral Diarrhea (BVD) is a disease of cattle caused by the Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV). The virus is widespread and most herds are at risk for infection.


  • BVD is transmitted in a number of ways. Either through a congenital infection of the fetus or after birth.
  • Congenital infections may cause resorption, abortion, stillbirth, or live-birth.
  • Congenitally infected fetuses that survive in utero infection (i.e., the live-births) may be born as BVDV-infected calves.
  • The BVDV infection in these calves will persist during the entire life of the calf, and they will shed BVDV continuously in the farm environment.


  • In adults, clinical signs are highly variable. Signs of acute infection include fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, ocular dishcharge, nasal dischargem oral lesions, diarrhea and decreasing milk production. Chronic infection may lead to signs of mucosal disease.
  • In calves, the most commonly recognised birth defect is cerebellar hypoplasia. The signs of this are:
    • Ataxia/ lack of voluntary coordination of musle movements;
    • Tremors
    • Wide stance
    • Stumbling
    • Failure to nurse
    • In severe cases the calf may die.
  • Transient infections include diarrhea, calf pneumonia, decreased milk production, reproductive disorders, increased occurrence of other diseases, and death
  • The losses from fetal infection include abortions; congenital defects; weak and abnormally small calves; unthrifty, persistently infected (PI) animals; and death among PI animals.


  • Treatment of BVD is limited primarily to supportive therapy. Once identified, infected animals should be culled.


  • Vaccines for BVD are available. The two categories are modified live virus (MLV) vaccines and killed virus (KV) vaccines.


Q. Which of the following statements are correct?

a)    Bovine Viral Diarrhea Virus (BVDV) is a rare disease of cattle herds.

b)    The BVDV infection in these calves persists during the entire life of the calf.

c)    Vaccines for BVD are available.

1.    a and c

2.    b and c

3.    a, b and c.

4.    None of the above.

Correct Answer: Option 2