Mucosal disease (MD) can be induced in cattle persistently infected with noncytopathogenic bovine viral diarrhea virus (ncp BVD virus) by superinfecting them with antigenically related cytopathogenic (cp) BVD virus strains. While some of these animals succumb to early onset MD after 2 to 3 weeks post infectionem (p.i.), others only react by producing neutralizing antibodies against the cp BVD virus strain and may develop late onset MD after longer incubation periods. The aim of this study was to determine if an increasing degree of antigenic homology between the ncp and the superinfecting cp BVD virus strains as determined by their comparative reactivity with E2 glycoprotein specific monoclonal antibodies (mabs) increases the probability of inducing early or late onset MD, respectively. For this, each two of eight clinically healthy animals from the same herd and persistently infected with the same ncp BVD viruses were superinfected with four different cp BVD virus strains. As only two of these animals developed late onset MD, one animal from a different herd that developed early onset MD was included in the study. Besides clinical observation and testing for antibody production, virus isolation and characterization of the cp BVD virus isolates were performed. The results indicate that antigenic similarity as determined by comparative mab analysis alone is not sufficient to allow prediction of the outcome of the disease.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 1, 1998
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