Researchers compared PCR nasal swabs with cell-culture procedures in testing for bovine respiratory syncytial virus, bovine coronavirus and bovine diarrhea virus.

Their results indicate that molecular diagnostic procedures, such as RT-PCR, provide identification of

viruses such as BRSV, BCV and BVDV when cell-culture assays are negative for these viruses. For BVDV, the BVDV RT-PCR identifies virus at levels in the nasal swabs below the detection in the cell-culture analysis. Also, the RT-PCR can be performed in hours compared to days in the cell-culture method.  Potentially, use of the RT-PCR and other molecular tests could provide a more rapid detection of viral pathogens than traditional cell-culture assays, as well as identifying agents not regularly found by cell culture assays, the researchers conclude. Information gained by these molecular-diagnostic procedures may assist the clinician in making decisions for BRD control and management. This is illustrated by the detection of BRSV in nasal swab collection, whereas cell culture assay was negative for BRSV. Read the full report.