The Changing Face of Bovine Ephemeral Fever

AUSTRALIA - An innovative project instigated by the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries (DPI&F) will investigate anecdotal field evidence that bovine ephemeral fever (BEF or 3-day sickness) is changing its characteristics.
calendar icon 3 December 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

The project will also provide updated information for enhancing vaccine development for the disease.

DPI&F principal veterinary pathologist, Dr. Bruce Hill, said evidence from cattle producers indicates that the disease is becoming more severe, both in terms of the number of cattle affected and the resulting mortalities.

"This background evidence is supported by reports of atypically severe forms of the disease during the January 2008 floods in the Belyando River region," said Dr Hill.

"The significance of this difference, in terms of current vaccine usage, has yet to be determined."
DPI&F principal veterinary pathologist, Dr. Bruce Hill

The Belyando outbreak was investigated by DPI&F and the Australian Animal Health Laboratory. Detailed analysis of one of the samples collected indicated that the strain of BEF virus was different from those identified as circulating in Australia up until 1992. This includes the current vaccine strain that was isolated in 1968.

"The significance of this difference, in terms of current vaccine usage, has yet to be determined.

"For this reason we are asking for assistance from producers and veterinarians in investigating further BEF outbreaks.

"Blood samples collected from BEF outbreaks and forwarded to DPI&F veterinary laboratories will be cultured for the virus free of charge," said Dr Hill.

Sending blood samples to DPI&F laboratories will assist in studying the epidemiology of the disease, especially if it is influenced by climate change events.

It will also assist in the collection of BEF virus candidates for possible inclusion in any future vaccine development work taken up by outside laboratories.

"There is considerable industry interest in promoting the development of a new generation BEF vaccine.

"This vaccine would ideally be delivered as a one-dose product to address current application issues and be updated to include currently circulating BEF viruses in its formulation," said Dr Hill.

TheCattleSite News Desk

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.