Article Text

Control of Leptospira hardjo infection in beef cattle by whole-herd vaccination
  1. TW Little,
  2. SC Hathaway,
  3. ES Broughton and
  4. D Seawright

Abstract

A whole-herd vaccination programme to control Leptospira hardjo infection was applied to a closed herd of approximately 800 beef cattle on the island of Luing in Scotland. An experimental vaccine was produced and the herd was vaccinated annually for five years. Progress was monitored by means of a catalytic model using data for age-specific serological prevalences and geometric mean titres. Any cattle introduced to the herd were subject to antibiotic treatment and quarantine, and at the end of the trial the whole herd was treated prophylactically with antibiotics to minimise the risk of residual infection. There was a progressive right shift in age-specific serological prevalences, and by the end of the trial all young stock entering the breeding herd were seronegative. The age-specific geometric mean titres demonstrated the cessation of an endemic cycle of hardjo infection in the herd. Birth cohort analysis supported the serological evidence of a high level of control, and bacteriological monitoring at the end of the trial indicated that hardjo had been eliminated from the herd.

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