Baton Rouge, La.-A bovine virus not originally suspected to cause respiratory tract infectionsin cattle is now associated with outbreaks of shipping fever pneumonia,researchers at Louisiana State University report.
The respiratory coronavirus has shown up in cattle in 11 states in theSouth and West. It had not been thought of as a factor in shipping-feverpneumonia - a fatal form of bovine respiratory-tract disease - until now,says Dr. Johannes Storz of the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine.
Ultimately, researchers hope the finding will lead to a vaccine for thecoronavirus.
Shipping fever is caused by the stress of transporting cattle, whichcan yield viral and bacterial infections of the respiratory tract, accordingto Storz, a professor of veterinary microbiology.
An estimated 90 percent of cattle that were affected by two large U.S.outbreaks of shipping-fever pneumonia were infected with the virus, he says.
Storz and a research team at LSU applied a new technology for cultivatingviruses from respiratory-tract samples from cattle. The method took clonesof cultured animal cells and applied the cattle samples to the clones. Scientiststhen studied the coronavirus.
Storz and his team have recorded several advancements in respiratory-tractdiseases, developing techniques and tests to detect viral infections. Hehas also identified components of the respiratory coronavirus, which maysomeday lead to an effective vaccine, the researchers report.