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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2014 Apr 15;244(8):914-22. doi: 10.2460/javma.244.8.914.

Options for the control of bovine leukemia virus in dairy cattle.

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Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824.


The subclinical impact of bovine leukemia virus (BLV) on the sustainability of the US dairy industry is only now being fully recognized. Findings of recent longitudinal studies conducted in Michigan dairy herds were consistent with the results of previous studies in showing that within-herd prevalence of BLV-infected cattle was negatively associated with milk production and cow longevity. Risk factors relating to routes of hematogenous transmission such as the use of shared hypodermic needles, shared reproductive examination sleeves, and natural breeding were associated with BLV within-herd prevalence. Few US dairy producers know the prevalence of BLV-infected cattle in their herds or are aware of the insidious economic impact of BLV or the options for BLV control. As an increasing number of countries eradicate BLV from their cattle populations, restrictions on the movement of US cattle and cattle products will likely increase. Veterinarians should be aware of recent developments for screening serum and milk samples for antibodies against BLV and the results of research regarding the economic impact of BLV so they can advise their dairy clients of available alternatives for monitoring and controlling BLV infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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