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REPRODUCTIVE diseases of cattle are of great economic importance to the rural sector of developing countries, particularly in Africa (Obese and others 1999, Fekadu and others 2007). Although infectious conditions are likely to be major contributors to poor reproductive efficiency (Romero and others 1999), relatively few studies have been carried out in Africa. Livestock management practices in Ghana, such as natural breeding using aged bulls in communal settings, and the lack of routine veterinary care, could play a role in the prevalence of multiple reproductive tract diseases (Akinboade 1980, Pefanis and others 1988).
Viral reproductive diseases, such as infectious bovine rhinotraechitis (IBR), bovine herpesvirus type 4 (BHV-4), and bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) (Moerman and others 1993, Nandi and others 2009, Gür and Dog'an 2010); bacterial diseases such as Coxiella burnetii (Arricau-Bouvery and Rodolakis 2005) and brucellosis (Oppong 1966, Chukwu 1985); and protozoal diseases, such as Neospora caninum (Kamga-Waladjo and others 2010) and Tritrichomonas foetus (Akinboade 1980, Pefanis and others 1988), can affect cattle throughout the world causing significant abortion losses and infertility.
This short communication examined a West African cattle herd of approximately 700 adult mixed breed African Sanga cattle with reduced fertility in the coastal region of Ghana in West Africa managed by Fulani herdsmen. This herd was subdivided into 11 kraals of approximately 20 to 100 animals in each and was chosen as typical of the management practices and cattle breeds of the region. No animals had been previously vaccinated against any of the diseases investigated. Herdsmen provided demographic data and reproductive history.
Serum was collected by jugular venepuncture from 166 animals (148 of approximately 670 cows and 18 …