Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is the costliest disease affecting the cattle industry globally. Orthomyxoviruses, influenza C virus (ICV) and influenza D virus (IDV) have recently been implicated to play a role in BRD. However, there are contradicting reports about the association of IDV and ICV to BRD. Using the largest cohort study (cattle, n = 599) to date we investigated the association of influenza viruses in cattle with BRD. Cattle were scored for respiratory symptoms and pooled nasal and pharyngeal swabs were tested for bovine viral diarrhea virus, bovine herpesvirus 1, bovine respiratory syncytial virus, bovine coronavirus, ICV and IDV by real-time PCR. Cattle that have higher viral loads of IDV and ICV also have greater numbers of co-infecting viruses than controls. More strikingly, 2 logs higher IDV viral RNA in BRD-symptomatic cattle that are co-infected animals than those infected with IDV alone. Our results strongly suggest that ICV and IDV may be significant contributors to BRD.
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