A critical assessment of abattoir surveillance as a ...

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Title A critical assessment of abattoir surveillance as a screening test for swine ascariasis
Author(s) T. M. Bernardo, Ian R. Dohoo, Timothy H. Ogilvie
Journal Canadian Journal of Veterinary Research = Revue Canadienne de Recherche Veterinaire
Date 1990
Volume 54
Issue 2
Start page 274
End page 277
Abstract The following data on ascarid burden were collected on an individual basis for 380 hogs marketed in the fall of 1987: a series of fecal ascarid-egg counts during the growing period; the level of milk spot lesions on the liver at slaughter; and the number of ascarids in the small intestines at slaughter. The presence of milk spots had a high sensitivity, very low specificity, and a high negative predictive value as a screening test for ascariasis in individual hogs. Results were consistent whether ascariasis was measured as the presence of intestinal ascarids at slaughter (sensitivity 91%, specificity 22%, negative predictive value 82%), or by a positive fecal egg count during the hog's lifetime (sensitivity 96%, specificity 24%, negative predictive value 93%). The presence of milk spots does not necessarily indicate that an ascarid infection has been established in the small intestine. The absence of milk spots, however, is a reliable indicator of the absence of an established ascarid infection, provided that the prevalence of ascariasis is equal to or less than that observed in this study. The severity of the ascarid infection in an individual hog could not be ascertained by the number of milk spot lesions on the liver.

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