Article Text

Ovine enzootic abortion: the acquisition of infection and consequent abortion within a single lambing season
  1. DA Blewett,
  2. F Gisemba,
  3. JK Miller,
  4. FW Johnson and
  5. MJ Clarkson

Abstract

The spread of enzootic abortion was observed in a flock of 37 unvaccinated Scottish blackface ewes, in mid-pregnancy at the start of the trial. Eight ewes were infected with the ZC 26 strain of chlamydia and allowed to run with 29 untreated controls until lambing was completed. All eight inoculated ewes aborted between 26 and 51 days after infection and chlamydial infection was demonstrated in seven of the abortions. Complement fixing antibodies were not detected in the controls until nine days after the first infected abortion, but within four weeks 69 per cent of the control ewes had developed significant complement fixation titres. Ten of the control ewes lost lambs, chlamydial infection was demonstrated in seven cases, two were undiagnosed and one was attributed to dystocia. The seven infected cases occurred between 69 and 87 days after the start of the trial and coincided with a further rise in the percentage of seropositive controls to a maximum of 90 per cent by the end of lambing.

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