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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Jul 15; 90(14): 6538–6541.

Milk and fat yields decline in bovine leukemia virus-infected Holstein cattle with persistent lymphocytosis.


Effects of bovine leukemia virus (BLV) infection on milk and fat yields were studied by using data collected from Holstein cows over a 6-year period. Milk and fat yields in BLV-infected cows with persistent lymphocytosis (PL) declined significantly relative to their BLV-infected non-PL herdmates. Declines were most pronounced in cows older than 6 years. The estimated loss to the dairy industry due to PL is more than $42 million annually. A major histocompatibility complex class I (BoLA-A) allele that has been previously associated with resistance to PL was associated with longevity and realization of milk production potentials, indicating that genetic resistance to PL will have an economic benefit in herds where BLV is endemic.

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