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Results of a survey to determine whether Neospora is a significant cause of ovine abortion in England and Wales
  1. A. Otter, MA, VetMB, PhD, MRCVS1,
  2. B. W. Wilson, BVMS, MRCVS, MAFF2,
  3. S. F. E. Scholes, BVM&S, PhD, MRCPath, MRCVS3,
  4. M. Jeffrey, BVMS, DVM, MRCPath, MRCVS, MAFF3,
  5. B. Helmick, BA, MAFF1 and
  6. A. J. Trees, BVM&S, PhD, MRCVS4
  1. 1 Veterinary Investigation Centre, Job's Well Road, Johnstown, Carmarthen SA31 3EZ
  2. 2 Veterinary Investigation Centre, Barton Hall, Barton, Preston, Lancashire PR3 5HE
  3. 3 Lasswade Veterinary Laboratory, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 OSA
  4. 4 Veterinary Parasitology, School of Tropical Medicine and Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Pembroke Place, Liverpool L3 5QA


Between January and April 1995, the brains and hearts of 281 aborted lambs derived from 209 submissions to veterinary investigation centres in England and Wales were examined histologically. One-hundred-and-seventy-nine samples of fetal pleural fluid from these lambs and 141 from lambs not examined histologically were examined for antibodies to Neospora by an indirect fluorescent antibody test. Non-suppurative myocarditis and encephalitis were present in nine lambs. Immunocytochemistry using antisera against Neospora caninum and Sarcocystis species resulted in no labelling but antisera to Toxoplasma gondii revealed labelled organisms in four lambs. No significant antibody titres against Neospora were detected in any of the samples of fetal pleural fluid. These results suggest that Neospora infection is not associated with significant numbers of abortions in sheep in England and Wales.

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