Effects of seropositivity for bovine leukemia virus, ...

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Title Effects of seropositivity for bovine leukemia virus, bovine viral diarrhoea virus, Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis, and Neospora caninum on culling in dairy cattle in four Canadian provinces
Author(s) A. Tiwari, John A. VanLeeuwen, Ian R. Dohoo, Henrik E. Stryhn, Gregory P. Keefe, J. P. Haddad
Journal Veterinary Microbiology
Date 2005
Volume 109
Issue 3-4
Start page 147
End page 158
Abstract The purpose of this research was to determine the effects of seropositivity for exposure to bovine leukemia virus (BLV), bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV), Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) and Neospora caninum (NC) on overall and reason-specific culling in Canadian dairy cattle. Serum samples from, approximately, 30 randomly selected cows from 134 herds were tested for antibodies against BLV, MAP and NC using commercially available ELISA test kits, while 5 unvaccinated cattle over 6 months of age were tested for antibodies to bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV). For analyzing the time (in days) to culling of cows after the blood testing, a two-step approach was utilized, non-parametric (Kaplan-Meier survival graphs) visualization and then semi-parametric survival modelling (Cox proportional hazards model), while controlling for confounding variables and adjusting for within herd clustering. For all reasons of culling, MAP-seropositive cows had a 1.38 (1.05-1.81, 95% C.I.) times increased hazard of culling compared to MAP-seronegative cows. Seropositivity for the other pathogens was not associated with an increased risk of overall culling. Among cows that were culled because of either decreased reproductive efficiency or decreased milk production or mastitis, MAP-seropositive cows were associated with 1.55 (1.12-2.15, 95% C.I.) times increased hazard compared to MAP-seronegative cows. Among cows that were culled because of reproductive inefficiency, NC-seropositive cows had a 1.43 (1.15-1.79, 95% C.I.) times greater hazard than NC-seronegative cows. Among cows that were culled because of decreased milk production, cows in BVDV-seropositive herds had a 1.86 (1.28-2.70, 95% C.I.) times increased hazard compared to cows in BVDV-seronegative herds. BLV-seropositive cows did not have an increased risk of reason-specific culling as compared to BLV-seronegative cows. No significant interaction on culling among seropositivity for the pathogens was detected, but only a limited number of cows tested seropositive for multiple pathogens. Results from our research will help in better understanding the economic impacts of these pathogens and justification for their control.
DOI 10.1016/j.vetmic.2005.05.011

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