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  • Writer's pictureİnterhas Stok

Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infections in Cattle

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

It is an acute or asymptomatic respiratory system infection characterized by fever, nasal discharge, cough, salivation and pneumonia, which is common in our country and all over the world.

Etiology: The causative agent is Respiratoric Syncytial Virus in the Pneumovirus genus of the Paramyxoviridae family. The virus forms “syncitia” (multinuclear protoplasmic body) in susceptible cell cultures and infected tissues. The virus is a virus with pleomorphic RNA and is 80-200 nm in size.

Epizootiology: Cattle are the most affected. Sheep and goats are susceptible to infection. However, their role in the epidemiology of the disease is unclear. The virus is shed by nasal secretions, enters the organism as an aerosol and through the respiratory tract. In susceptible flocks, spread is very rapid and a large number of clinical cases occur. Mixed infections with BVD, PI-3, Pasteurella and Adenoviruses are frequently encountered. Moving from one place to another has bad effects.

Clinical findings: The incubation period is short and field infections can occur suddenly. In experimental infections, it is 2-4 days. Increased breathing, ocular and watery nasal discharge, cough, depression, and decreased milk yield are observed. These findings last 3-10 days. In some cases, increased salivation is observed and the saliva may be foamy or slightly bloody. Pneumonia accompanies these findings. Secondary infections may occur. Pathology: In the lungs, hepatization and sometimes pulmonary emphysema are seen in the cardiac lobe and the ventral parts of the lobes. Syncytia formation and intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies in infected cells are typical for this disease.

Diagnosis: Clinical findings give an idea, but the agent should be differentiated from other viral (IBR, BVDV, PI-3) and bacterial (Manheimia spp) agents. Diagnosis is made only by laboratory diagnosis. Nasal swab samples from acutely infected animals are suitable for virus isolation and RT-PCR. However, in the very early stages of the disease, the virus may not be isolated. Serological screening in double serum samples taken at 3-week intervals is another recommended diagnostic method.

Control: There is no cure. Antibiotic administration is recommended against secondary bacterial infections. Because it spreads quickly, infected flocks and people who come into contact with these flocks should not come into contact with susceptible flocks. Prophylactic vaccination is recommended. Vaccinations can be given from 3 weeks of age.


Istanbul University Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Lecture Notes

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