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Infections with Ostertagia ostertagi in adult cattle have been studied through longitudinal abattoir surveys of cull cows (Agneessens and others 2000, Borgsteede and others 2000, Murphy and others 2006), and through the use of diagnostic markers, notably serum or milk antibodies, measured by ELISA (Charlier and others 2005a, b, 2007, Forbes and others 2008). None of these approaches has included systematic examination of the abomasum in order to determine the nature and extent of gross pathology and histopathology in adult cows. The objective of this study was to examine the abomasum of slaughter cattle for gross lesions of ostertagiosis.
Between May 2009 and May 2010, abomasa from healthy adult cattle were examined in an abattoir in Aurillac, France, by the same operator (LL). All the abomasa were collected in the order of carcases on the line on approximately two days per month, apart from the month of August. The abomasa were taken to a dissecting room where they were excised along the greater curvature and the contents expelled. To facilitate examination, the mucosa was washed vigorously with running water until all the debris had been removed.
Digital photographs were taken of abomasal mucosa, and lesions from some animals were sectioned and examined histologically to confirm the presence of parasitic nematodes.
The age, breed and carcase weight of each animal were recorded, but no information was available on previous grazing …