Modeling the effect of bovine viral diarrhea virus in Australian beef herds

Jake Fountain, Marta Hernandez-Jover, Carsten Kirkeby, Tariq Halasa, Jennifer Manyweathers, Yiheyis Maru, Victoria Brookes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is an economically important disease in Australian beef farming. The disease typically results in low-level production losses that can be difficult to detect for several years. Simulation modeling can be used to support the decision to control BVDV; however, current BVDV simulation models do not adequately reflect the extensive farming environment of Australian beef production. Therefore, the objective of this study was to develop a disease simulation model to explore the impact of BVDV on beef cattle production in south-east Australia. A dynamic, individual-based, stochastic, discrete-time simulation model was created to simulate within-herd transmission of BVDV in a seasonal, self-replacing beef herd. We used the model to simulate the effect of herd size and BVDV introduction time on disease transmission and assessed the short- and long-term impact of BVDV on production outputs that influence the economic performance of beef farms. We found that BVDV can become established in a herd after a single PI introduction in 60% of cases, most frequently associated with the breeding period. The initial impact of BVDV will be more severe in smaller herds, although self-elimination is more likely in small herds than in larger herds, in which there is a 23% chance that the virus can persist for >15 years following a single incursion in a herd with 800 breeders. The number and weight of steers sold was reduced in the presence of BVDV and the results demonstrated that repeat incursions exacerbate long-term production losses, even when annual losses appear marginal. This model reflects the short- and long-term production losses attributed to BVDV in beef herds in southeast Australia and provides a foundation from which the influence and economic utility of BVDV prevention in Australian beef herds can be assessed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number795575
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalFrontiers in Veterinary Science
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Modeling the effect of bovine viral diarrhea virus in Australian beef herds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this