Arch Virol (1998) 143: 1119–1128
Immune response of calves experimentally infected with
non-cell-culture-passaged bovine respiratory syncytial virus
, V. Weynants
, K. Walravens
, J. A. Kramps
and J. J. Letesson
Lab. Immunologie, URBM, Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix,
Institute for Animal Science and Health (ID-DLO), Lelystad, The Netherlands
Accepted January 22, 1998
Summary. The immune response of calves was studied following infection with
non-cell-passaged Bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV). Two groups of 6
speciﬁc pathogen free (SPF) calves were housed in separate isolation rooms. One
group was inoculated intranasally with a non-cell-passaged BRSV strain and
the control group was mock-infected. A BRSV speciﬁc antibody response was
observed for all the BRSV infected calves. These antibodies were shown to have
neutralizing activity. No lymphocyte proliferation response was detected in the
mock-infected group whereas three animals in the infected group were positive
three weeks after the infection. All BRSV-infected calves, except one, produced
interferon-␥ (IFN-␥) one week post-infection and IFN-␥ was observed in all six
infected calves after three weeks. The control group showed no IFN-␥ synthesis.
In spite of the limits of the BRSV infection model, humoral and cellular immune
responses were actively developed by all the calves against this pathogen.
Bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) is a major cause of respiratory tract
disease inducing acute interstitial pneumonia and bronchiolitis in calves . The
human homologue RSV (HRSV) causes similar respiratory disorders in infants.
BRSV and HRSV belong to the genus Pneumovirus of the Paramyxoviridae
For evaluation of vaccine efﬁcacy and a better understanding of the patho-
genesis of BRSV infection, an experimental model of BRSV infection is needed.
Experimental infections of calves using cell-culture-passaged-BRSV induced
pneumonia and bronchiolitis but clinical respiratory signs were mild or absent in
most cases [2, 12, 18]. In this context, few studies were devoted to the analysis