The aim of this study was to evaluate secondary clinical disease, milk production efficiency and reproductive performance of heifers and cows persistently infected (PI) with bovine viral diarrhea virus type 2 (BVDV type 2). PI animals (n = 25) were identified using an antigen capture ELISA of ear notch samples. They were distributed into three age groups: ≤ 12 (n = 8), 13 to 24 (n = 6) and 25 to 34 (n = 11) months old. A control group of BVDV antigen ELISA negative female cattle that were age matched to the PI animals was utilized from the same herd. The PI group had a 1.29 higher odds ratio for diarrhea than controls (p = 0.001, IC95% = 1.032–1.623) and 1.615 greater chance of developing bovine respiratory disease (BRD) (p = 0.012, IC95% = 1.155–2.259). The age at first insemination (p = 0.012) and number of insemination attempts required to establish the first pregnancy (p = 0.016) were both higher for PI than controls. Milk production was higher for control cows than PI cows during most of the sampling periods. Somatic cell counts (SCC) were higher in PI cows than the controls at all sampling points across lactation (p ≤ 0.042). PI cattle had a higher incidence of disease, produced less milk, a higher SCC, and poorer reproductive performance than control cattle in this study.
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