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Vaccination of calves against bovine herpesvirus-1: assessment of the protective value of eight vaccines.

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University of Perugia, School of Veterinary Medicine, Institute of Infectious Diseases, Laboratory of Virology V. Cilli, Italy.


Eight separate, but related experiments, were carried out in which groups of six calves were vaccinated with one of eight commercial vaccines. In each experiment the vaccinated calves were subsequently exposed to three calves infected with virulent bovine herpesvirus-1 (BHV-1). In each experiment, all infected donor calves developed a typical severe infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) infection and excreted virus in their nasal secretions of up to 10(8.00) TCID50/0.1 ml. One live BHV-1 gE-negative vaccine (A) and three modified live vaccines (B, C, D), administered intranasally, all protected against clinical disease. The calves vaccinated with one vaccine (C) also did not excrete virus in the nasal secretions, whereas the calves protected by vaccines A, B and D excreted virus in their nasal secretions but at low titres (10(0.66)-10(1.24) TCID50/0.1 ml). A fourth modified live vaccine (E), given intramuscularly, failed to prevent mild clinical disease in the calves which also excreted virus in the nasal secretions at titre of 10(1.00) TCID50/0.1 ml. An analogous result was given by the calves vaccinated with either of the two inactivated vaccines (F and G) or with a BHV-1 subunit vaccine (H). All calves developed mild clinical signs and excreted virus at titres of 10(2.20)-10(3.12) TCID50/0.1 ml. Calves vaccinated with C vaccine were subsequently given dexamethasone, following which virus was recovered from their nasal secretions. The virus isolates did not cause disease when calves were infected and appeared to be closely related to the vaccine strain.

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