& livestock assay data sheet
Bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BoHV1)
- Ultrasensitive detection of bovine herpesvirus 1 by real time PCR
Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis and infectious pustular vulvovaginitis
are both caused by bovine herpesvirus 1 (BoHV-1), which infects
both domestic and wild cattle. The virus belongs to the genus
Varicellovirus in the subfamily
of the Herpesviridae
BoHV-1 can be further divided into subtypes 1.1, 1.2a and 1.2b. The 1.2
subtypes are less virulent than subtype 1.1. The old subtype
BoHV-1.3 has been reclassified as BoHV-5, which is a
neuropathogenic agent in calves. BoHV-1 has a high degree of
genomic and antigenic similarity to other ruminant
alphaherpesviruses including BoHV-5, caprine herpesvirus 1,
cervid herpesvirus 1 (red deer), cervid herpesvirus 2
(reindeer), bubaline herpesvirus 1 and elk herpesvirus 1.
Animals infected with bovine herpesvirus 1 develop serous nasal
discharge, salivation, fever, inappetence, and depression. After
a few days of infection, the nasal and ocular discharges change
to mucopurulent. Genital infection of infected animals leads to
pustular vulvovaginitis or balanoposthitis. In most cases,
respiratory or genital disease symptoms last only about 5–10
days. Secondary infections due to bacteria or other virus can
lead to severe respiratory disease of young animals.
Nevertheless, many infected animals show no symptoms. BoHV-1 can
remain in a latent state in sensory neurons of the infected
animals, later reactivating and shedding.
The virus can be isolated from nasal or genital swabs from animals with
respiratory signs, vulvovaginitis or balanoposthitis, taken
during the acute phase of the infection, and, in severe cases,
from various organs collected at post-mortem.
However, culture detection is not definitive. Serological
detection of exposure to the virus is possible but it takes time
for the antibody response to develop. In addition,
identification of latent infection is difficult with serological
methods. Molecular detection by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)
is rapid, sensitive and specific (Deka et al., 2005), and can
identify latent infections.
Help confirm the disease causing agent
Identify BoHV1 virus carriers
Help ensure that herds are free of BoHV1
Early prevention of spread of the virus among animals
Minimize human exposure to the virus
Safety monitoring of biological products that derive
Deka, D., Ramneek, Maiti, N.K. and Oberoi, M.S. (2005) Detection of
bovine herpesvirus-1 infection in breeding bull semen by virus
isolation and polymerase chain reaction. Rev. Sci. Tech.
whole blood in EDTA (purple top) or ACD (yellow top) tube; or
lesion, throat or nasal swab; or 0.2 ml fresh, frozen or fixed
Contact Zoologix if advice is needed to determine an appropriate specimen type for a specific diagnostic application. For specimen types not listed here, please contact Zoologix to confirm specimen acceptability and shipping instructions.
specimen types, if there will be a delay in shipping, or during
very warm weather, refrigerate specimens until shipped and ship
with a cold pack unless more stringent shipping requirements are
specified. Frozen specimens should be shipped so as to remain
frozen in transit. See
for more information.
2 business days
Qualitative real time PCR