Open Access

Occurrence of bovine coronavirus and other major respiratory viruses in cattle in Poland



Bovine coronavirus (BCoV) is a causative agent of enteric and respiratory diseases in cattle. Despite its importance for animal health, no data is available on its prevalence in Poland. The aim of the study was to determine the virus’ seroprevalence, identify risk factors of BCoV exposure in selected cattle farms and investigate the genetic variability of circulating strains.

Material and Methods

Serum and nasal swab samples were collected from 296 individuals from 51 cattle herds. Serum samples were tested with ELISA for the presence of BCoV-, bovine herpesvirus-1 (BoHV-1)- and bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV)-specific antibodies. The presence of those viruses in nasal swabs was tested by real-time PCR assays. Phylogenetic analysis was performed using fragments of the BCoV S gene.


Antibodies specific to BCoV were found in 215 (72.6%) animals. Seropositivity for BCoV was more frequent (P>0.05) in calves under 6 months of age, animals with respiratory signs coinfected with BoHV-1 and BVDV and increased with herd size. In the final model, age and herd size were established as risk factors for BCoV-seropositivity. Genetic material of BCoV was found in 31 (10.5%) animals. The probability of BCoV detection was the highest in medium-sized herds. Polish BCoVs showed high genetic homology (98.3–100%) and close relatedness to European strains.


Infections with BCoV were more common than infections with BoHV-1 and BVDV. Bovine coronavirus exposure and shedding show age- and herd density-dependence.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Virology, other, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine