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Herd-specific and age-specific seroprevalence of Neospora caninum in 14 British dairy herds
  1. H. C. Davison, BSc, BVetMed, MSc, PhD, MRCVS1,
  2. N. P. French, BVSc, MSc, PhD, MRCVS2 and
  3. A. J. Trees, BVM&S, PhD, MRCVS1
  1. 1 Veterinary Parasitology, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine/Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Pembroke Place, Liverpool L3 5QA
  2. 2 Department of Veterinary Clinical Science and Animal Husbandry, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Leahurst, Neston, South Wirral L64 7TE


All the cattle in 14 dairy herds in England were tested for Neospora caninum-specific antibodies with a commercial ELISA. Three of the herds had had sporadic abortions, eight had had endemic abortions and three had had epidemic abortions associated with N caninum before the study. Of 4295 cattle tested, 17.1 per cent were seropositive and the herd-specific prevalence ranged from 7.3 per cent to 44.8 per cent. No significant effect of either herd size (P=0.988), endemic (P=0.869) or epidemic (P=0.138) patterns of abortion on herd-specific prevalence was found by using logistic regression analysis. There was no evidence in any herd of a significant increase in prevalence with age; the prevalence in sevento 12-month-old cattle was not significantly different (P>0.400) from the prevalence in older cattle, except that there was a significantly lower prevalence (P=0.017) in 13to 24-month-old cattle. The results of this study are consistent with vertical transmission being the major route of N caninum transmission in these herds.

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