June 2019

Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) infection has worldwide distribution in both dairy and beef herds. Our study was initiated in order to encourage control of BLV infection by using milk samples, in lieu of serum samples, to readily test lactating animals prior to dry-off and calving. Two Holstein dairy herds (A and B), with known status of BLV infection as determined by serology, were sampled by the collection of serum and fresh milk samples. Selected samples were tested using a USDA-licensed BLV antibody ELISA kit (Bovine leukemia virus antibody test kit; VMRD, Pullman, WA) for serum. Forty-one lactating cows from each herd were sampled. Herd A was confirmed to have endemic BLV infection; herd B was confirmed to be free of BLV infection. The milk ELISA results demonstrated 100% identification of positive and negative animals compared with the serum results. The correlation of the ELISA values between serum and milk samples was 97%, which supports the use of this BLV ELISA on milk samples.

James F. Evermann1, David M. DeAvila, Steven M. Parish, Catherine H. Merritt, Katherine C. Noble, Sampath Srikanth, Amanda L. E. Bronowski
Research Article https://doi.org/10.1177/1040638719860487