Detection of bovine herpesvirus type 4 antibodies and bovine lymphotropic herpesvirus in New Zealand dairy cows

de Boer, M.W.; Zheng, T.; Buddle, B.M.; McDougall, S.

New Zealand Veterinary Journal 62(6): 351-355


ISSN/ISBN: 0048-0169
PMID: 24967608
DOI: 10.1080/00480169.2014.933683
Accession: 052519018

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To detect the presence of bovine herpesvirus (BoHV) type 4 in New Zealand dairy cows with clinical metritis. Serum samples taken from 92 dairy cows with clinical metritis, each from a different farm, were tested for the presence of antibodies against BoHV-4 using a commercially available, indirect ELISA. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) were collected from 10 BoHV-4 seropositive cows, and PBMC were examined by a pan-herpesvirus nested PCR to detect herpesvirus. PCR products were sequenced directly and a proportion of the PCR products were cloned and sequenced to identify the virus present. Antibodies to BoHV-4 were detected in 23/92 (25%) serum samples. The pan-herpesvirus PCR was positive in 8/10 PBMC samples. Cloning and sequencing identified that all of the eight PCR-positive PBMC contained bovine lymphotropic herpesvirus (BLHV); no BoHV-4 DNA was detected. This study reports the finding of the presence of apparent antibodies to BoHV-4, and BLHV DNA in New Zealand dairy cows affected by metritis. Bovine herpesvirus type 4 and BLHV are reported to have the potential to cause reproduction failure in cows. This is the first report of apparent BoHV-4 antibodies, and BLHV in New Zealand. The importance and epidemiology of these viruses in cattle in New Zealand requires further investigation.