In more than 10 Spanish dairy cows, a bovine herpesvirus 4 (BHV4) associated postpartum metritis was confirmed by virus isolation, BHV4-glycoprotein B (gB) PCR and/or serology. In this study, 12 cows with, and, at the time of sampling, 3 cows without clinical signs of acute postpartum metritis from one large dairy herd in Spain were examined for bacterial and viral infections. Blood, placenta/caruncles and uterine contents were collected between day 1 and day 20 post-calving, and examined for the presence of bacteria and for viruses by virus isolation, BHV4 DNA by BHV4-gB PCR and/or BHV4 antibody titres. Bovine herpesvirus 4 was detected in 83% of the cases with clinical signs of acute postpartum metritis by virus isolation and/or BHV4-gB PCR. An increase of BHV4 antibodies was detected in all examined postpartum metritis cows and in the 3 cows without clinical metritis. Two of these 3 cows developed severe metritis a few dayss after collecting the first blood sample. A concurrent infections of BHV4 and bacteria, mainly Arcanobacterium pyogenes and Streptococcus sp., were detected in 73% of the examined uterine contents collected from postpartum metritis affected cows. This case-report study showed a clear association between BHV4 infections and acute postpartum metritis in dairy cows. In addition, the BHV4-associated postpartum metritis appeared to be an emerging syndrome in this Spanish herd.
- etiological agent
- belgian cattle