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  • 1 Veterinary Medical Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, H-1581 Budapest, P.O. Box 18, Hungary
  • 2 Novartis Animal Health UK Ltd, Camberley, Surrey, UK
  • 3 University of Veterinary Science, Budapest
  • 4 Central Veterinary Institute, Budapest, Hungary
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Clinical, bacteriological and serological examination of 35 calves from the age of 5 to 26 days was performed in a Holstein-Friesian dairy herd endemically infected with Mycoplasma bovis. M. bovis was isolated from 48.6% of nasal swabs taken from the calves at the age of 5 days, and from 91.4% of the same calves at the age of 26 days, indicating the gradual spread of infection. The isolation rate of Pasteurella multocida did not change much, and varied from 28.6 to 25.7%. No P. haemolytica could be detected. In addition to M. bovis and P. multocida, the herd was also infected with different viruses (including bovine viral diarrhoea virus, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus, bovine adenoviruses, parainfluenza-3 virus, and bovine respiratory syncytial virus) as a large proportion of the sera of newborn calves contained colostral antibodies against these viruses. In most of the newborn calves severe clinical signs (fever, depression, inappetence, hyperventilation, dyspnoea, nasal discharge and coughing) due to M. bovis infection developed. The clinical signs appeared already on the fifth day of life, and their incidence was the highest at the age of 10 to 15 days. Three calves (8.6%) died as a result of severe serofibrinous pneumonia. The surviving calves showed very poor weight gain (ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 kg) during the first two weeks of life.

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