MSD Animal Health has introduced the world’s first vaccination for bovine coronavirus (BCoV). BCoV is a pneumoenteric virus that affects the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts and is shed in both feces and nasal discharge. The virus is associated with three common syndromes: neonatal calf diarrhea, winter dysentery, and bovine respiratory disease. BCoV disrupts the mucus formation in the trachea, making the animal more susceptible to other respiratory diseases in cattle.
Dr. Ronan O’Neill from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) confirms that BCoV is indeed a concern on Irish farms and recommends vaccinating calves against it. Dr. O’Neill, head of the virology division at DAFM, presents data showing that BCoV is prevalent within the national herd. The patterns of BCoV outbreaks are similar to those of bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) and other respiratory diseases, but BCoV outbreaks last much longer. While BRSV peaks last between nine and 12 weeks, BCoV peaks are sustained for over twice that time.
Dr. O’Neill also emphasizes that BCoV acts as a gateway for other respiratory diseases. In 20% of the samples submitted to the department for testing, more than one virus was detected. The most common co-detections were BRSV and BCoV at 21.6%, followed by BRSV and bovine parainfluenza-3 (PI3) at 19.7%. BCoV was also involved in the next two most common co-detections: PI3 at 13.9% and bovine alphaherpesvirus 1 (BHV1) at 8.9%.
MSD’s vaccination, Bovillis Nasalgen-C, provides protection against BCoV for calves. The vaccine is administered intranasally shortly after birth, and full protection is achieved after five days, although some level of protection is offered immediately. MSD recommends using Bovillis Nasalgen-C in conjunction with their Bovillis Intranasal RSP to ensure maximum protection for calves.
In conclusion, the introduction of the Bovillis Nasalgen-C vaccine by MSD Animal Health offers Irish farmers the opportunity to protect their calves against bovine coronavirus. With the prevalence of BCoV in the national herd and its role as a gateway for other respiratory diseases, vaccination is a crucial preventive measure. The vaccine’s effectiveness and the recommendation to combine it with Bovillis Intranasal RSP provide farmers with a comprehensive approach to safeguarding the health of their cattle.