Two hundred serum samples from Texel and Texel crossbred sheep (non-indigenous breeds) and 200 from indigenous Northern Ireland breeds (mainly Blackface, Cheviot and Border Leicester crosses) were tested for antibodies to parainfluenza virus types 1, 2 and 3, respiratory syncytial virus, bovine adenovirus (subgroups 1 and 2), influenza type A, maedi-visna virus and bovine virus diarrhoea virus. The percentage of animals with antibodies to parainfluenza virus 3 (50 to 56 per cent) and adenovirus subgroups 1 and 2 (70 to 90 per cent) was comparable in both groups. Infection of sheep with subgroup 2 adenoviruses has not previously been reported. In the case of respiratory syncytial virus and bovine virus diarrhoea virus, the percentage of animals positive was higher in the non-indigenous group (55.5 and 53 per cent, respectively) than in indigenous breeds (18.5 and 11 per cent, respectively). No antibodies were detected to parainfluenza virus 1 or 2, influenza A or maedivisna virus.
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