Normal calves produced after transfer of in vitro fertilized embryos cultured with an antiviral compound

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Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) replicates in embryo co-culture systems and remains associated with developing IVF bovine embryos, despite washing and trypsin treatment. Previous research demonstrated that 2-(4-[2-imidazolinyl] phenyl)-5-(4-methoxyphenyl)furan (DB606) inhibits replication of BVDV in cultured cells. The objective of this study was to evaluate the capability of IVF embryos to develop into normal, weaned calves after exposure to antiviral concentrations of DB606 during IVC. Oocytes were obtained from cows via transvaginal, ultrasound-guided follicular aspiration. Presumptive zygotes (n = 849) that resulted from fertilization of these oocytes were cultured for 7 d in medium supplemented with 0.4 μM DB606 or medium lacking antiviral agent. All blastocysts (n = 110) were transferred individually into the uterus of a synchronized recipient. The pregnancy status of recipients was determined using transrectal ultrasonography at 21-23 d after embryo transfer. Additional pregnancies as controls (n = 21) were initiated by natural breeding. Developing fetuses and resulting calves were evaluated every 27-34 d. Blastocyst development, pregnancies per transferred embryo, pregnancies maintained per pregnancies established, gestation length, gender ratio, birth weights, viability of neonates, complete blood counts, and serum chemistry profiles at 3 mo of age and adjusted 205 d weaning weights were compared for research treatments. Development to weaning after exposure to DB606 did not differ significantly from controls. In conclusion, bovine embryo cultures can be safely supplemented with antiviral concentrations of DB606; addition of DB606 agent might prevent viral transmission if BVDV were inadvertently introduced into the embryo culture system. © 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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