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Serum Antibodies to Bovine Coronavirus in Swedish Sheep

Serumantikroppar mot bovint Coronavirus hos svenska får

Abstract

Altogether 218 sheep sera from 40 flocks in different parts of Sweden were screened for antibodies to bovine Coronavirus (BCV). Nineteen per cent of the sera were positive and there was a significantly higher frequency (p<0.05) of at least one positive sample in flocks with more than 100 adult sheep than in smaller flocks. There was also a significantly higher frequency (p<0.001) of positive samples from sheep older than 4 years than from younger ones. Only a weak relationship between BCV positivity (2 or more positive samples, p<0.05) and cattle contact was demonstrated in this study. Possible transmission routes and other factors that could have affected the result are discussed. In light of our finding that all 5 sheep experimentally exposed to BCV through contact with infectious cow faeces seroconverted, we conclude that the antibodies found in Swedish sheep are probably the result of BCV infections directly or indirectly transmitted from cattle.

Sammanfattning

Antikroppar mot bovint Coronavirus (BCV) analyserades i serumprover från 218 får i 40 besättningar belägna i olika delar av Sverige. 19% av proverna var positiva med en signifikant högre frekvens av minst ett positivt prov från besättningar större än 100 vuxna får än från mindre besättningar (p<0,05). En signifikant högre andel positiva prover sågs också hos får äldre än 4 år än hos yngre får (p<0.001). Endast ett svagt samband kunde påvisas mellan BCV-positiva prover i besättningen (minst 2 positiva prover per besättning, p<0.05) och direktkontakt med nötkreatur. Tänkbara smittvägar for BCV och andra forhållanden som kan ha påverkat resultatet diskuteras i artikeln. Samtliga fem BCV-seronegativa får som smittades experimenteilt genom kontakt med BCV i ko-träck bildade antikroppar mot BCV Därför är vår slutsats art de serumantikroppar som detekterats i svenska farbesättningar troligen är orsakade av direkt eller indirekt BCV-smitta från nötkreatur.

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Correspondence to M. Tråvén.

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Tråvén, M., Carlsson, U., Lundén, A. et al. Serum Antibodies to Bovine Coronavirus in Swedish Sheep. Acta Vet Scand 40, 69–74 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1186/BF03547042

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Keywords

  • survey
  • flock size
  • age
  • cattle contact
  • experimental infection
  • seroconversion