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Findings in cases of SBV infection in sheep in the south-east

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  • Postmortem findings from cases of Schmallenberg virus in sheep in south-east England

  • Bacillus licheniformis the most commonly diagnosed bacterial cause of bovine abortion

  • Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome outbreak diagnosed on a weaner producer unit

  • Pasteurella multocida (fowl cholera) diagnosed in a flock of free-range layers with increased mortality

  • Death of a reindeer caused by Trichostrongylus and Dictyocaulus species infection

These are among matters discussed in the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency's (AHVLA's) disease surveillance report for February


Reproductive diseases


Abortion due to Bacillus licheniformis was diagnosed by most laboratories during the month and is currently the most commonly diagnosed bacterial cause of bovine abortion. Most infections are due to ingestion of spoiled, contaminated silage or silage liquor. The large number of diagnoses may be associated with relatively poor conditions for silage making in the summer of 2011.

Starcross identified low plasma inorganic iodine levels in a group of 16 Welsh black cows, in which three had produced stillborn calves and another five required calving assistance. This indicated that the current diet the cattle were receiving was iodine-deficient and suggested that iodine deficiency might well be playing a role in the clinical syndrome. Measurement of thyroid iodine concentration with histology is considered the gold standard when investigating iodine deficiency.

Enteric diseases


Rotavirus infection and cryptosporidiosis continued to be the most commonly diagnosed causes of diarrhoea in young calves.

Thirsk investigated a problem of diarrhoea in calves during the first two weeks of life in a dairy unit. The problem had been ongoing since October 2011 and several calves had died. Examination of faecal samples and a carcase submitted for postmortem examination revealed Escherichia coli type O4.K. This E coli serotype is associated with a cytotoxic necrotising factor and with bacteraemia, diarrhoea and dysentery in young farm animals. It was ascertained that there was poor …

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