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A PAPER summarised in this issue of Veterinary Record, describes lungworm outbreaks in two Dutch cattle herds, discussing the economic consequences and lessons learned (Holzhauer and others 2011). In the UK, an oral vaccine against lungworm (Bovilis Huskvac; MSD) has been around for more than 50 years, but uptake has been variable (approximately 300,000 to 350,000 doses sold per year in the UK; MSD, personal communication). Why should this be?
Estimating the incidence of lungworm disease based on current available data is difficult, as little high quality surveillance is being carried out. Reports available from the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) up to 2010 indicate a large proportion of reported cases occur in adult cattle and it is still one of the most commonly diagnosed respiratory diseases in cattle (Fig 1) (VLA 2010; H. Gartner, AHVLA, personal communication). National Animal Health Disease Surveillance network (NADIS) data up to 2009 describe a clear seasonality and support the significant proportion of adult cases seen by the AHVLA (Fig 2) (NADIS 2005; D. Williams, personal communication).