Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Bovine neonatal pancytopenia - Comparative proteomic characterization of two BVD vaccines and the producer cell surface proteome (MDBK)

Kerstin N Euler1, Stefanie M Hauck2, Marius Ueffing23 and Cornelia A Deeg1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Animal Physiology, Department of Veterinary Sciences, LMU Munich, Veterinärstr. 13, München D-80539, Germany

2 Research Unit for Protein Science, Helmholtz Zentrum München - Germany Research Center for Environmental Health (GmbH), Ingolstädter Landstr. 1, Neuherberg, D-85764, Germany

3 Centre of Ophthalmology, Institute for Ophthalmic Research, University of Tübingen, Röntgenweg 11, Tübingen, D-72076, Germany

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BMC Veterinary Research 2013, 9:18  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-9-18

Published: 23 January 2013



Bovine neonatal pancytopenia (BNP) is a disease syndrome in newborn calves of up to four weeks of age, first observed in southern Germany in 2006. By now, cases have been reported in several countries around the globe. Many affected calves die within days due to multiple haemorrhages, thrombocytopenia, leukocytopenia and bone marrow depletion. A certain vaccine directed against Bovine Virus Diarrhoea Virus (BVDV) was recently shown to be associated with BNP pathogenesis. Immunized cows develop alloantibodies that are transferred to newborn calves via colostrum intake. In order to further elucidate BNP pathogenesis, the purpose of this study was to characterize and compare the protein composition of the associated vaccine to another vaccine directed against BVDV not related to BNP and the cell surface proteome of MDBK (Madin-Darby Bovine Kidney) cells, the cell line used for production of the associated vaccine.


By SDS-PAGE and mass spectrometry, we were able to detect several coagulation-related and immune modulatory proteins, as well as cellular and serum derived molecules being shared between the associated vaccine and MDBK cells. Furthermore, the number of proteins identified in the BNP related vaccine was almost as high as the number of surface proteins detected on MDBK cells and exceeded the amount of proteins identified in the non-BNP related vaccine over 3.5 fold. The great amount of shared cellular and serum derived proteins confirm that the BNP associated vaccine contained many molecules originating from MDBK cells and vaccine production.


The respective vaccine was not purified enough to prevent the development of alloantibodies. To narrow down possible candidate proteins, those most likely to represent a trigger for BNP pathogenesis are presented in this study, giving a fundament for further analysis in future research.