Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) has been associated with several reproductive problems in cattle, including poor fertility, early embryonic deaths, abortion and congenital anomalies. Little is known about the cause of poor fertility in cows acutely infected with BVDV. The purpose of this study was to identify changes in ovarian function following acute infection with noncytopathic BVDV. The ovaries of 5 BVDV sero-negative and virus-negative pubertal heifers were monitored daily for 4 consecutive estrous cycles. The position and diameter of all follicles (>5mm) and luteal structures were recorded. Daily plasma samples were collected to measure peripheral progesterone and estradiol levels. Each heifer was infected intranasally with noncytopathic BVDV following ovulation of the second estrous cycle. The maximum diameter and growth rate of dominant anovulatory and ovulatory follicles were significantly reduced following acute BVDV infection. Similarly, the number of subordinate follicles associated with both the anovulatory and ovulatory follicle was reduced following infection. There were no significant differences in other follicle or luteal dynamic parameters or in peripheral progesterone or estradiol levels. Ovarian follicular growth was different during the first 2 estrous cycles following acute infection with BVDV when compared with the 2 estrous cycles preceding infection. These differences may be important in explaining reduced fertility in herds with acute BVDV infection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Small Animals
- Food Animals
- Animal Science and Zoology