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Rotavirus and Enterotoxigenic Escherichia Coli Infections of Calves on a Closed Finnish Dairy Farm

Rotavirus och enterotoxigena Escherichia coli infektioner hos kalvar i en sluten mjölkkobesättning

Abstract

Rotavirus and enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli infections of calves were surveyed during 2 successive years on a closed Finnish dairy farm consisting of 90–105 milking cows. From a clinical standpoint, diarrhoea was of moderate to high severity during the first year, compared to the milder disease in the second year of the study. Diarrhoea or abnormal faeces were found only in calves less than 8 weeks old, with the peak occurring during the first 2 weeks of life.

In the first year, rotavirus was detected throughout the calving season in diarrhoeic or abnormal faeces of calves aged 1 day to 7 weeks. In the second calving season, rotavirus was detected only during the 4 autumn months and in calves aged 11 days to 8 weeks. Rotavirus was detected in only 1 sample of normal faeces in both years. Electron microscopy revealed no enteropathogenic viruses other than rotaviruses. Enterotoxigenic K99 E. coli was found in about half of diarrhoeic or abnormal faeces in both years and throughout the calving seasons. K99 E. coli was also found in 5–10 % of normal faeces.

In the second year of the study, 45 of 101 pregnant dams were vaccinated with 2 doses of E. coli antigen. The vaccination trial did not prevent or reduce altered faeces in calves whose dams had been vaccinated compared with calves whose dams had not been vaccinated in the same year. Comparing the 2 years, the earlier uptake of colostrum together with better cleaning and disinfection of the calf house, contributed to the later and rarer occurrence of rotavirus infection in the second year of the study. The earlier uptake of colostrum together with better cleaning and disinfection of the salf house, in the second year, could not prevent enterotoxigenic E. coli infections in calves but partly prevented and modified the disease.

Sammanfattning

En långvaring undersökning av rotavirus och enterotoxigena Escherichia coli infektioner under 2 påvarandra följande år utfördes hos kalvar i en sluten mjölkkobesättning bestående av 90–105 mjölkkor. Kliniskt sett var det första årets diarre’er moderata till ytterst allvarliga i jämförelse med ett lindrigare förlopp under det andra året. Diarre konstaterades bara hos kalvar under 8 veckor, och främst under de 2 första veckorna.

Rotavirus påvisades i avföring från kalvar med diarre eller onormal avföring, vid en ålder av en dag upp till 7 veckor, och fynden fördelades över heia kalvningsäsongen under det första året. Situationen var annorlunda under det andra årets kalvningar, rotavirus påvisades bara under 4 höstmånader och hos kalvar med en ålder från 11 daga rtill 8 veckor. Rotavirus påvisades bara i en normal avföring under de båda åren. Elektronmikroskopi avslöjade inga andra virus än rotavirus. Enterotoksigena K99 E. coli påvisades i ungefär hälften av avföringarna från kalvar med diarre eller onormal avföring under de båda åren. K99 E. coli åvisades också i 5–10 % av normala avföringsprov under de båda åren.

Fyrtiofem av 101 dräktiga kor vaccinerades under det andra året med 2 doser av E. coli antigen. Vaccineringen kunde inte förhindra eller förminska förekomsten av onormal avföring hos deras kalvar jämfört med de kalvar vilkas mödrar inte var vaccinerade under samma år. En jämförelse melian dessa 2 år, visade att möjligheten att tidigare få colostrum kombinerad med en bättre rengöring och desinfektion av kalvboxarna tydligt medverkade till en senare och sällsyntere förekomst av rotavirus infektioner under det andra året. En tidigare upptagning av colostrum och en bättre rengöring och desinfektion av kalvboxarna kunde inte förhindra enterotoxigena E. coli infektioner hos kalvar det andra året, men kunde delvis hämma och modifiera sjukdomen.

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Correspondence to Liisa Sihvonen.

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Sihvonen, L., Miettinen, P. Rotavirus and Enterotoxigenic Escherichia Coli Infections of Calves on a Closed Finnish Dairy Farm. Acta Vet Scand 26, 205–217 (1985). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03546552

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Keywords

  • calf diarrhoea
  • K 99 antigen
  • colostrum
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