Bovine Enterovirus

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Also Known As: BEV — Enteric Cytopathic Bovine Orphan Virus — ECBO


Bovine enterovirus is a small RNA picornavirus causing reproductive, gastrointestinal and respiratory disease in cattle. Most have a low virulence.

The enteroviruses multiply primarily in the gastrointestinal tract but also in the muscles and nervous tissue. There are 10 recognised serotypes within 2 serogroups.

BEV is also often found concurrently with other diseases, including respiratory disease, abortions, rhinitis and shipping fever.

Careful diagnosis is required due to serological and virological similarities with Foot and Mouth Disease.

BEV is not zoonotic.



Ubiquitous among cattle populations globally.


Serotype 1 has been found in cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, deer ad wild cattle.

Those viruses in serotype 2 have only been isolated from domestic cattle. All ages and breeds are susceptible.

Transmission is faecal:oral and airborne and the virus is highly resistant to environmental challenges.

Clinical Signs

Reproductive disease is the most common clinical presentation manifesting as abortion, stillbirths, infertility and neonatal deaths.

Diarrhoea with mucus and dark colour may also be seen as well as pyrexia, dehydration and weight loss. Dairy cows will show 60-70% reduction in milk yield. Respiratory signs may include mucoid nasal discharge.

Infected cattle disseminate the virus continually through their faeces and nasal discharge and this can continue for more than three months after apparent recovery.

No clinical signs are pathognomic.


Diagnosis partially relies upon ruling out other possible causes of the clinical signs.

BEV can be isolated from faeces, oesophageal scrapings, vaginal mucosa, rectal swabs, semen, blood, placenta, foetal materials and fluids, lungs, salivary glands, small intestine, lymph nodes, nasal swabs and other organs.

The virus can then be morphologically identified by electron microscopy, PCR, Complement Fixation, Antibody fluorescence and haemagglutination.

Serum neutralisation can detect antibodies to BEV.


No specific treatment is available. Symptomatic treatment may improve recovery and demeanour.


Isolation and adequate disinfection are important in containing outbreaks. No vaccine is available.

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This article was originally sourced from The Animal Health & Production Compendium (AHPC) published online by CABI during the OVAL Project.

The datasheet was accessed on 16 June 2011.

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