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Survey for antibodies to respiratory viruses in two groups of sheep in Northern Ireland
  1. BM Adair,
  2. JB McFerran,
  3. ER McKillop and
  4. SJ McCullough


Two hundred serum samples from Texel and Texel crossbred sheep (non-indigenous breeds) and 200 from indigenous Northern Ireland breeds (mainly Blackface, Cheviot and Border Leicester crosses) were tested for antibodies to parainfluenza virus types 1, 2 and 3, respiratory syncytial virus, bovine adenovirus (subgroups 1 and 2), influenza type A, maedi-visna virus and bovine virus diarrhoea virus. The percentage of animals with antibodies to parainfluenza virus 3 (50 to 56 per cent) and adenovirus subgroups 1 and 2 (70 to 90 per cent) was comparable in both groups. Infection of sheep with subgroup 2 adenoviruses has not previously been reported. In the case of respiratory syncytial virus and bovine virus diarrhoea virus, the percentage of animals positive was higher in the non-indigenous group (55.5 and 53 per cent, respectively) than in indigenous breeds (18.5 and 11 per cent, respectively). No antibodies were detected to parainfluenza virus 1 or 2, influenza A or maedivisna virus.

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