Frequency of BCoV detection by a semi-nested PCR assay in faeces of calves from Brazilian cattle herds
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Bovine coronavirus (BCoV) is one of the main causes of neonatal calf diarrhoea. Several diagnostic assays have been employed to detect the presence of the virus in stool samples from calves. Despite this, the frequency of BCoV infection among Brazilian and even South American cattle herds has yet to be well characterised. This study describes the occurrence of BCoV infection among calves from dairy and beef herds in four Brazilian states. A total of 282 stool samples from 1 to 60-day-old calves were evaluated for the presence of BCoV by a semi-nested (SN) PCR assay. The animals were from herds (n = 23) located in three geographical regions in Brazil (south, southeast, and center-west). The specific BCoV amplicon was detected in 15.6% (44/282) of the faecal specimens examined, of which 95.4% (42/44) were from diarrhoeic and 4.6% (2/44) from asymptomatic calves. The specificity of the SN-PCR amplicons was evaluated by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. The results show that the BCoV is widespread, mainly among calves from 16 to 30-days-old (p = 0.0023), and verify the association between BCoV infection and clinical signs of diarrhoea (p = 0.005). These findings emphasise the importance of this virus in enteric infections of Brazilian cattle herds.
KeywordsCattle herds Calves Diarrhoea Bovine coronavirus Semi-nested PCR
We would like to thank to the Brazilian Institutes CNPq, CAPES, FINEP, and Fundação Araucária for financial support. Alfieri, A.A. and Alfieri, A.F. are recipient of CNPq fellowships.
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