Comparison of performance of dairy herds that were ...

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Title Comparison of performance of dairy herds that were or were not vaccinated with a bovine herpes virus 1 marker vaccine in 1998.
Author(s) C. J. Bartels, H. W. Barkema, M. L. Beiboer, A. Bouma, J. A. Stegeman
Journal Tijdschrift voor Diergeneeskunde
Date 2001
Volume 126
Issue 6
Start page 191
End page 197
Abstract This study analysed the effects of the use of bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV1) marker vaccine on the performance of dairy cattle. In Spring of 1999, vaccination of 12 herds with the BHV1 marker vaccine resulted in severe animal health problems and mortality. The vaccines used on these farms were all from a batch that appeared to be contaminated with bovine virus diarrhoea virus type 2. This led to a general call to farmers and veterinary practitioners to report side-effects of this vaccine. As a result, more than 7000 farmers reported symptoms. The information was obtained by means of a questionnaire; there was no control group. To determine the effects of the use of the marker vaccine, it was necessary to perform a study based on objectively acquired information. The information collected by the Royal Dutch Cattle Syndicate and the office of Identification and Registration was complied into herd indices on production, udder health, reproduction, and culling. Two groups of dairy farms that had used the BHV1 marker vaccine (attenuated and inactivated vaccine) were compared with farms that were certified BHV1-free. The analyses were performed based on intra-herd comparisons, meaning that per herd each index calculated over a certain period of time after the use of the marker vaccine was compared to a similar period of time prior to the use of the marker vaccine. A total of 144 comparisons were made. Seven comparisons were statistically significant. In two comparisons, the results were in favour of the BHV1-free farms and in five comparisons, the result were in favour of the vaccinated farms. Thus use of the BHV1 marker vaccine could not be proven to affect herd performance. The sensitivity of the tests was very high, so with a high level of probability even very small differences in indices between groups would have been detected.

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