Monitoring BLV

Monitoring BLV

The first step to effectively managing and reducing BLV is to measure BLV within the herd. Animals can be identified by presence of BLV antibodies and/or BLV viral DNA.


  • What is being detected? Antibodies specific to BLV 
  • What type of sample(s) can be used? Milk or Serum/Plasma
  • Test result categories: Positive, Negative, Suspect
  • What does this tell us? Which cows have been exposed to BLV.


  • What is being detected? Amount of BLV viral DNA 
  • What type of sample(s) can be used? Whole Blood*
  • Test result categories: High, Moderate, Low, Undetected.
  • What does this tell us? How "contagious" a BLV-positive cow is.

*Because BLV infects B-cells, a type of white blood cell, this type of testing can only be done with whole blood collected in a standard EDTA (purple top) tube. 

What's the Right Plan for Your Herd?



Dr. Kelly Sporer BLV Testing Strategies