BRSV. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.

We all occasionally suffer from some kind of respiratory illness whether a cold or the flu. But what about animals and in particular, large animals like cattle. Veterinarian, Dr. Gregory Edwards with Pfizer talks about Bovine Respiratory Disease or basically cattle pneumonia.

EDWARDS: We prefer not to call in pneumonia because there’s more to it than that. BRSV is an acronym for bovine respiratory syncytial virus. The syncytial part of that is the change it causes in a cell as the virus invades it doesn’t kill it. It causes it to change. When it does it causes a disease state so therefore the name bovine respiratory syncytial virus. That virus is probably the most common respiratory virus in dairy cattle in the U.S.

The disease is spread much in the same way as the human version.

EDWARDS: It is spread by respiratory mechanism, one animal breathing on another, one animal breathing into the air and the air conditions are such that it drifts over to another animal. So when we take animals and group them together, put them in a barn, close the doors, have poor ventilation, stress them with other things, these viruses are almost always there

Unlike humans, cattle cannot crawl into bed and ride out a virus with hot soup but Edwards says there is an answer.

EDWARDS: In this scenario Pfizer has developed a new vaccine that’s unique, the only one like it on the market. It’s an intra-nasal. In order to administer this vaccine you squirt it up into the nostrils. It’s absorbed through your mucous membranes in the nasal passages creating an immunity at that site. So the site where this virus invades the body, we now have protection there

Calves have a greater chance of developing a respiratory infection during high-stress times, such as weaning or moving to group housing. We’ll talk more tomorrow with Dr. Greg Edwards regarding BRSV.

That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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