Simultaneous intramammary and intranasal inoculation of lactating cows with bovine herpesvirus 4 induce subclinical mastitis

G J Wellenberg, C J M Bruschke, H J Wisselink, H W Barkema, J T Van Oirschot
Veterinary Microbiology 2002 April 22, 86 (1): 115-29
In this study, we examined whether an experimental bovine herpesvirus 4 (BHV4) infection can induce bovine mastitis, or can enhance bovine mastitis induced by Streptococcus uberis (S. uberis). Four lactating cows were inoculated intramammarily and intranasally with BHV4, and four lactating control cows were mock-inoculated. After 14 days, two of four cows from each group were inoculated intramammarily with S. uberis. No clinical signs were recorded in cows inoculated only with BHV4, and their milk samples showed no abnormal morphology, despite the fact that BHV4 replicated in inoculated quarters. Somatic cell count increased significantly in milk from three of six BHV4-inoculated quarters, compared to the non-inoculated quarters of the same cows (within-cow) and the quarters of mock-inoculated cows (control group) on days 8, 9 and 11 post-inoculation (pi). BHV4 was isolated from nasal swabs between days 2 and 9 pi. Clinical mastitis was observed in all four cows intramammarily inoculated with S. uberis. A preceding BHV4 infection did not exacerbate the clinical mastitis induced by S. uberis. S. uberis infections appeared to trigger BHV4 replication. From one quarter of each of two cows inoculated with BHV4 and S. uberis, BHV4 was isolated, and not from quarters inoculated with BHV4 only. In conclusion, BHV4 did not induce bovine clinical mastitis after simultaneous intranasal and intramammary inoculation. However, the BHV4 infection did induce subclinical mastitis in 50% of the cows and the quarters.

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