A matched case-control study comparing udder health, production and fertility parameters in dairy farms before and after the eradication of Bovine Virus Diarrhoea in Switzerland.

Tschopp, Aurélie; Deiss, Ramona; Rotzer, Myriam; Wanda, Sabine; Thomann, Beat Stefan; Schüpbach, Gertraud; Meylan, Mireille (2017). A matched case-control study comparing udder health, production and fertility parameters in dairy farms before and after the eradication of Bovine Virus Diarrhoea in Switzerland. Preventive veterinary medicine, 144, pp. 29-39. Elsevier 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2017.05.016

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An obligatory eradication programme for Bovine Virus Diarrhoea (BVD) was implemented in Switzerland in 2008. Between 2008 and 2012, all bovines were tested for antigen or antibodies against BVDV. By the year 2012, eradication was completed in the majority of farms. A decrease of the prevalence of persistently infected (PI) newborn calves was observed from 1.4% in 2008 to <0.02% in 2012. The objective of the present study was to assess the effects of BVD eradication on different parameters of animal health, production and fertility in Swiss dairy herds which had completed the eradication programme. A matched case-control study was carried out using data from two periods, before (Period 1) and after (Period 2) the active phase of eradication. Case farms had at least two PI animals detected before or during the eradication; controls were BVD-free and matched for region, herd size and use of alpine pasture. A total of 110 farmers (55 pairs) were recruited. During a phone interview, a questionnaire about farm characteristics, animal health and appreciation of the BVD eradication programme was filled in. Breeding data and milk test day records were also analyzed. Parameters were first compared between (i) case and control herds before eradication, and (ii) Period 1 and Period 2 for case herds only. Milk yield (MY), bulk milk somatic cell count (BMSCC), prevalence of subclinical mastitis (SCM), and non-return rate (NRR) showed a p-value<0.25 in at least one of the univariable comparisons and were thus further analyzed with a multilevel mixed-effects model to account for repeated measures over time. In order to assess whether changes in health status over time were due to BVD eradication, an interaction variable between period and group (case-control) was created (IA). Except for MY, the IA was significant for all parameters modelled. Despite an overall p-value of 0.27, case herds tended to have a higher MY after eradication (β=0.53, p=0.050). For BMSCC and SCM, case herds had higher values than controls in both periods; udder health was significantly improved in control herds and it remained stable in case herds, with a slight decrease of BMSCC (β=-0.19, p=0.010). Finally, among fertility parameters, NRR showed a general improvement but it was significant only in control herds (β=0.29, p=0.019). Even though the effects of the eradication programme measured in this study were less pronounced than expected, 73% of the participants of this study had a positive attitude towards the campaign.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH) > Veterinary Public Health Institute
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Swine Clinic
05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Clinic for Ruminants
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health (DCR-VPH)

UniBE Contributor:

Tschopp, Aurélie; Deiss, Ramona; Rotzer, Myriam; Wanda, Sabine; Thomann, Beat Stefan; Schüpbach, Gertraud and Meylan, Mireille

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0167-5877

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Daniela Fasel

Date Deposited:

21 Nov 2017 09:09

Last Modified:

23 Jul 2018 10:26

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.prevetmed.2017.05.016

PubMed ID:

28716201

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Milk yield Non-return rate Reproduction Somatic cell count Subclinical mastitis

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.105700

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/105700

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