Point source exposure of cattle to Neospora caninum ...

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Title Point source exposure of cattle to Neospora caninum consistent with periods of common housing and feeding and related to the introduction of a dog
Author(s) T. Dijkstra, H. W. Barkema, J. W. Hesselink, W. Wouda
Journal Veterinary Parasitology
Date 2002
Volume 105
Issue 2
Start page 89
End page 98
Abstract Eight dairy herds with evidence of post-natal transmission of Neospora caninum were used to test the hypothesis of a point source exposure by a retrospective analysis of the housing and feeding of infected age-groups. The first N. caninum-associated abortion or birth of N. caninum-seropositive offspring from the post-natally infected age-group was considered as the first indication of the infection. In seven of the eight dairy herds, a point source exposure to N. caninum of the infected age-groups was found during a limited period of common housing and feeding. In all herds studied, the analysis indicated that the cattle had been infected shortly before the first abortions occurred. In all, except one herd, the post-natal infection was more directly related to housing than to feeding. Therefore, it appeared that the feed was contaminated in the feeding alley. In one herd, the total mixed ration was found to be the probable path of infection. In all farms studied, a new dog (young, adult dog or litter) had been introduced within a period of 1.5 years prior to the first indication of N. caninum infection in the cattle. As there was evidence in all herds of vertical transmission of neosporosis for years, it is hypothesized that the newly introduced dog was infected with N. caninum by materials from already infected cattle and subsequently transmitted the infection to other cattle by shedding of oocysts.

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