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Herd-level prevalence and risk factors for bovine viral diarrhea virus infection in cattle in the State of Paraíba, Northeastern Brazil


Serological surveys based on a planned sampling on bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) infection in Brazilian cattle herds are scarce. A cross-sectional study was carried out to determine herd- and animal-level seroprevalences and to identify risk factors associated with herd-level seroprevalence for BVDV infection in the State of Paraíba, Northeastern Brazil, from September 2012 to January 2013. The state was divided into three sampling strata, and for each stratum, the prevalence of herds infected with BVDV and the prevalence of seropositive animals was estimated by a two-stage sampling survey. In total, 2443 animals were sampled from 478 herds. A virus-neutralization test was used for BVDV antibody detection. A herd was considered positive when at least one seropositive animal was detected. The herd- and animal-level prevalences in the State of Paraíba were 65.5 % (95 % confidence interval (CI) = 61.1–69.7 %) and 39.1 % (95 % CI = 33.1–45.6 %), respectively. The frequency of seropositive animals per herd ranged from 10 to 100 % (median of 50 %). The risk factors identified were as follows: more than six calves aged ≤12 months (odds ratio (OR) = 3.72; 95 % CI = 2.08–6.66), animal purchasing (OR = 1.66; 95 % CI = 1.08–2.55), pasture rental (OR = 2.15; 95 % CI = 1.35–3.55), and presence of veterinary assistance (OR = 2.04; 95 % CI = 1.10–3.79). Our findings suggest that the implementation of control and prevention measures among farmers, with the aim of preventing dissemination of the agent in the herds, is necessary. Special attention should be given to addressing the identified risk factors, such as sanitary control prior to animal purchasing and to discourage the pasture rental, as well as to encourage the vaccination in the herds.

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This study was financed by the Conselho Nacional de DesenvolvimentoCientífico e Tecnológico (CNPq), under the codes 471571/2011-3, 302131/2012-4, and 476596/2013-0. The authors would like to thank the SEDAP for help during the sample collection.

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Correspondence to Sérgio Santos de Azevedo.

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The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Federal University of Campina Grande, Brazil—protocol number 48-2012.

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Fernandes, L.G., de Campos Nogueira, A.H., De Stefano, E. et al. Herd-level prevalence and risk factors for bovine viral diarrhea virus infection in cattle in the State of Paraíba, Northeastern Brazil. Trop Anim Health Prod 48, 157–165 (2016).

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  • BVDV
  • Serology
  • Risk factors
  • Control
  • Northeastern Brazil