Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection in McNay Farm Calves
Clinical respiratory disease occurs almost every year in fall calves in the McNay Farm herd. Diagnostic procedures have implicated Haemophilus somnus (H. somnus) and bovine respiratory syncyial virus (BRSV) as the infectious agents primarily associated with this disease. Therefore, the 1995 calves were closely monitored after weaning and during the course of a respiratory disease. Serologic evidence indicated the involvement of the same two agents in the pathogenesis of the disease. Also, experimental evidence suggested a role for a preexisting immediate hypersensitivity to H. somnus and the development of this type of response to BRSV. We theorize that the pathogenesis of the clinical disease involved infection with H. somnus, establishment of immediate hypersensitivity in the lungs, viral infection with associated pathologic lesions, and viral exacerbation of the immediate hypersensitivity reaction with resultant clinical signs and tissue damage.