Viral infections in organic dairy herds

Last changed: 23 September 2019

Viral infections in organic dairy herds - risks, biosecurity and resiliency

The first objective of this three-year project is to explore and possibly verify the results of a recent study indicating differences in prevalence and incidence of infection with bovine coronavirus (BCV) and bovine respiratory cynsytialt virus (BRSV) - two common infections in dairy herds. The project's second aim is to identify risk factors, such as biosecurity measures, for infection by BCV and BRSV through capitalizing on the differences that exist between organic and conventional management. The third goal of the project is to study production and health parameters from years with outbreaks of BCV or BRSV and compare them with "normal values" from the same herd, but from years without outbreaks.

By comparing how these parameters are affected in organic and conventional herds, we get an objective measure of if and how disease resilience differs between systems. Antibody seropositivity in 100 organic and 100 conventional dairy farms will be studied over two seasons to achieve the study objectives. It would be very rewarding for the organic movement to be acknowledged for better biosecurity and for better disease resilience. All Swedish dairy herds can benefit from the study findings through improved biosecurity measures which contribute to a sustainable development, with, for example, reduced use of antibiotics.

Financier: Formas
Co-applicant: Ulf Emanuelson, SLU Stefan Alenius, SLU
Collaborator: Anna Ohlson, Växa Sverige Cecilia Wolff, SLU Maj Hjort, SVA