Bovine neonatal pancytopenia

Since 2008 everywhere in Belgium calves of various races showed dermal hemorrhaging in the age between 10 and 14 days. 90 % of these calves died in spite of various treatments. This ‘new disease’ was studied in the research department and clinically, pathologically and epidemiologically described. All animals showed a total destruction of the bone marrow, which caused problems with coagulation of the blood and loss of any resilience. It became clear that there was a connection between the intake of colostrum and a certain vaccination against the bovine viral diarrhea virus. Further research in collaboration with the laboratory for immunology (UGent) showed that the blood of the mother animal contains antibodies that act against the white blood cells of the calves. In the meantime a definite link with this vaccination was internationally confirmed and it was taken off market. The disease is now found only sporadically.