The study aimed to examine the capacity of two bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1) isolates of different subtypes (EVI 123/96, BHV-1.1; SV265/98, BHV-1.2a) to induce respiratory disease in calves. These two isolates are representative of the BHV-1 subtypes prevalent in Brazil. Viral subtypes were confirmed by monoclonal antibody analysis and by restriction enzyme digestion of viral genomes. The viruses were inoculated intranasally into seven 3 months old calves (four with BHV-1.1, three with BHV-1.2a). Three other calves of identical age and condition were kept as uninfected controls. In both groups of infected calves, the clinical signs observed were consistent with typical infectious bovine rhinothracheitis (IBR), including pyrexia, apathy, anorexia, nasal and ocular mucopurulent discharges, erosions on the nasal mucosa, conjunctivitis, lachrymation, redness of nasal mucosa, dyspnoea, coughing, tracheal stridor and enlargement of retropharingeal, submandibular and cervical lymphnodes. No significant differences were observed between the clinical scores attributed to both groups. Virus shedding in nasal and ocular secretions were also similar, apart from a significant difference in nasal virus shedding on day 1 to 3 post-inoculation, which was higher for BHV-1.1 than for BHV-1.2a. Following corticosteroid induced reactivation of the latent infection, recrudescence of clinical signs was also observed, with no significant differences on both groups. It was concluded that both subtypes BHV-1.1 and BHV-1.2a were able to induce clinically undistinguishable respiratory disease in calves, either subsequent to a primary infection or following reactivation.
Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis; IBR; BHV-1.1; BHV-1.2a; subtypes; pathogenicity