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Prevalence of Fasciola hepatica in dairy herds in England and Wales measured with an ELISA applied to bulk-tank milk
  1. M. R. Salimi-Bejestani, NSD, DVM, PhD1,
  2. R. G. Daniel, BVSc, BSc, MRCVS2,
  3. S. M. Felstead, BVSc, PhD, MRCVS1,
  4. P. J. Cripps, BVSc, BSc, MSc, PhD, PGCertTLHE, DipECVPH, MRCVS3,
  5. H. Mahmoody, DVM, MSc1 and
  6. D. J. L. Williams, BSc, PhD1
  1. 1Department of Veterinary Parasitology, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine/Faculty of Veterinary Science, Pembroke Place, Liverpool L3 5QA
  2. 2Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Job's Well Road, Johnstown, Carmarthen SA31 3EZ
  3. 3Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Leahurst, Neston, Cheshire CH64 7TE
  1. Correspondence to Dr Williams

Abstract

An ELISA developed to diagnose Fasciola hepatica infection in cattle by detecting serum antibodies was adapted and validated for use with samples of bulk-tank milk. The prevalence of the infection in 61 dairy herds was established by using serum antibody levels or faecal egg counts measured in a proportion of the cows in each herd. The correlation between the results of the ELISA and the herd seroprevalence was 0·83. Using a cut-off value of 27 per cent positive, the bulk-tank ELISA identified herds in which more than 25 per cent of the cows were infected with a diagnostic sensitivity of 96 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval 89 to 100 per cent) and a diagnostic specificity of 80 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval 66 to 94 per cent). By applying the ELISA to 623 herds in England and 445 herds in Wales, the prevalence of F hepatica infection in England was estimated to be 48 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval 46 to 54 per cent), and in Wales 86 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval 84 to 90 per cent).

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