Mechanisms linking bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) infection with infertility in cattle

Oguejiofor, C F and Thomas, C J and Cheng, Z R and Wathes, D C (2019) Mechanisms linking bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) infection with infertility in cattle. Animal Health Research Reviews.

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Abstract

Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is an important infectious disease agent that causes significant reproductive and economic losses in the cattle industry worldwide. Although BVDV infection is known to cause poor fertility in cattle, a greater part of the underlying mechanisms particularly associated with early reproductive losses are not clearly understood. Previous studies reported viral compromise of reproductive function in infected bulls. In females, BVDV infection is thought to be capable of killing the oocyte, embryo or fetus directly, or to induce lesions that result in fetal abortion or malformation. BVDV infections may also induce immune dysfunction, and predispose cattle to other diseases that cause poor health and fertility. Other reports also suggested BVDV-induced disruption of the reproductive endocrine system, and a disruption of leukocyte and cytokine functions in the reproductive organs. More recent studies have provided evidence of viral-induced suppression of endometrial innate immunity that may predispose to uterine disease. Furthermore, there is new evidence that BVDV may potentially disrupt the maternal recognition of pregnancy or the immune protection of the conceptus. This review brings together the previous reports with the more recent findings, and attempts to explain some of the mechanisms linking this important virus to infertility in cattle.