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Characteristics ofneospora caninum-associated abortion storms in dairy herds in The Netherlands (1995 to1997)

Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s0093-691x(99)00125-9
  • Neospora Caninum
  • Bovine
  • Abortion
  • Seroprevalence
  • Transmission
  • Epidemiology


Abstract Abortion storms in 50 dairy herds in The Netherlands were reported in which there was a strong association with Neospora caninum-infection. The duration of the abortion storms ranged from 6 to 65 d (mean 41.5 d). The cumulative proportion of aborting cows ranged from 0.11 to 0.57 (mean 0.26) of the animals at risk. An apparent seasonal influence was noted as most abortion storms occurred during the summer and early autumn. The prevalence of antibodies to N. caninum in 50 herds which had had an abortion storm was compared with that of 100 control herds which had no history of an abortion storm. Seroprevalence was estimated by testing a 20% cross sectional herd sample using a tachyzoite lysate-based ELISA method. Seroprevalence in case herds (range 17 to 87%, mean 51.5%) was significantly higher than that in control herds (range 0 to 53%, mean 13.9%). For most herds the Seroprevalence levels were equal across all age groups, which suggests that the infection had been perpetuated by vertical transmission. In these herds, the abortion storms appeared to be induced by factors causing recrudescence of a N. caninum- infection in chronically infected animals rather than being the result of a recent introduction. In 6 case herds the Seroprevalence in the dairy cows was significantly higher than in the young stock, which may have been attributable to superimposed postnatal infection.

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