JOURNAL OF VETERINARY DIAGNOSTIC INVESTIGATION, vol.14, no.4, pp.308-313, 2002 (Journal Indexed in SCI)
Recently, bovine coronavirus (BCV) has been isolated from new cattle arrivals to feedlots, but the association between respiratory and enteric infections with BCV in feedlot cattle remains uncertain. Fecal and nasal swab samples from 85 Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) feedlot cattle averaging 7 months of age were collected at arrival (0) and at 4, 7, 14, and 21 days postarrival (DPA). An antigen capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was used to detect concurrent shedding of BCV in fecal and nasal samples. All samples ELISA positive for BCV were matched with an equal number of BCV ELISA-negative samples and analyzed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) of the N gene. Paired sera were collected at arrival and 21 DPA and tested for antibodies to BCV using an indirect ELISA. Information on clinical signs, treatments provided, and cattle weights were collected. The overall rates of BCV nasal and fecal shedding were 48% (41/85) and 53% (45/85) by ELISA and 84% (71/85) and 96% (82/85) by RT-PCR, respectively. The peak of BCV nasal and fecal shedding occurred at 4 DPA. Thirty-two cattle (38%) showed concurrent enteric and nasal shedding detected by both tests. Eleven percent of cattle had antibody titers against BCV at 0 DPA and 91% of cattle seroconverted to BCV by 21 DPA. The BCV fecal and nasal shedding detected by ELISA and RT-PCR were statistically correlated with ELISA antibody seroconversion (P < 0.0001); however, BCV fecal and nasal shedding were not significantly related to clinical signs. Seroconversion to BCV was inversely related to average daily weight gains (P < 0.06). Twenty-eight respiratory and 7 enteric BCV strains were isolated from nasal and fetal samples of 32 cattle in HRT-18 cell cultures. These findings confirm the presence of enteric and respiratory BCV infections in feedlot calves. Further studies are needed to elucidate the differences between enteric and respiratory strains of BCV and their role in the bovine respiratory disease complex of feedlot cattle.