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Open Access Research article

A four year longitudinal sero-epidemiological study of bovine herpesvirus type-1 (BHV-1) in adult cattle in 107 unvaccinated herds in south west England

Kerry A Woodbine, Graham F Medley*, Stephen J Moore, Ana M Ramirez-Villaescusa, Sam Mason and Laura E Green

BMC Veterinary Research 2009, 5:5  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-5-5

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Incomplete antecedent reference impacting on claims

Malcolm Banks   (2010-07-14 19:12)  OIE IBR Reference Laboratory, VLA Weybridge, UK email

Thus is a useful piece of work that updates our knowledge on BoHV-1 prevalence in SW UK cattle herds. However, it is a real shame that the authors, for whatever reason, failed to consider the data in, or make any reference to the BoHV-1 antibody survey of 341 herds across England and Wales described by Paton et al (1998) [cf. only 114 herds confined to the SW of England in this paper]. Paton et al showed a UK prevalence of 69% to BoHV-1 antibodies at herd level, but with significant regional differences. Several of the other conclusions reached by Paton et al (1998) are common to this paper, but importantly, the failure to consider this earlier study, which is effectively another point on a temporal graph of BoHV-1 prevalence in UK cattle, inevitably detracts from the validity and accuracy of some of Woodbine et al’s claims and conclusions.
The authors’ statistical analyses are very good but knowledge of bovine herpesviruses in UK appears to be incomplete. The authors say they were probably detecting antibodies to BoHV-5 but do not provide any evidence that this virus is present in the UK. BoHV-5 has been reported from a small number of countries worldwide, but the UK is not amongst these.

Reference:
Paton, DJ., et al (1998) Prevalence of antibodies to bovine viral diarhoea virus and other viruses in bulk tank milk in England and Wales. Vet Rec¸142: 385-391

Competing interests

None

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