Longitudinal study of bovine rotavirus group A in newborn calves from vaccinated and unvaccinated dairy herds
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Reports of rotavirus excretion in calves usually result from cross-sectional studies, and in face of the conflicting results regarding protection of calves born to vaccinated dams against diarrhea, the aim of the present study was to evaluate rotavirus excretion in dairy calves born to vaccinated or unvaccinated dams, to identify the genotypes of bovine rotavirus group A (RVA) strains isolated from these animals as well as to investigate characteristics of the disease in naturally occurring circumstances throughout the first month of life. Five hundred fifty-two fecal samples were taken from 56 calves, 28 from each farm and, in the vaccinated herd, 11/281 samples (3.91%) taken from six different calves tested positive for RVA while in the unvaccinated herd, 3/271 samples (1.11%) taken from 3 different calves tested positive. The genotyping of the VP7 genes showed 91.2% nucleotide sequence identity to G6 genotype (NCDV strain), and for the VP4 gene, strains from the vaccinated herd were 96.6% related to B223 strain, while strains from the unvaccinated herd were 88% related to P genotype (UK strain). Genotypes found in this study were G6P in the vaccinated herd and G6P in the unvaccinated herd. All calves infected with rotavirus presented an episode of diarrhea in the first month of life, and the discrepancy between the genotypes found in the commercial vaccine (G6P and G10P) and the rotavirus strains circulating in both vaccinated and unvaccinated herds show the importance of keeping constant surveillance in order to avoid potential causes of vaccination failure.