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Serological prevalence of Hypoderma species in cattle in Great Britain (1995/96) and the relative value of serological surveillance over clinical observation
  1. K. A. Webster, BSc, PhD1,
  2. C. Dawson1,
  3. M. Flowers, HNC1 and
  4. M. S. Richards, BA, MSc1
  1. 1 Veterinary Laboratories Agency, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KTl5 3NB


Sera from 100,400 cattle on 2850 farms in England, Scotland and Wales were tested for the presence of antibodies to Hypoderma species between the end of November 1995 and the end of February 1996. Twelve animals were resampled because the initial results were equivocal but only one of them was confirmed as seropositive. This animal was a bull imported from Belgium which had been treated with an approved warble fly treatment within 24 hours of arrival at its destination in Great Britain. No seropositive animals were confirmed within the native British cattle population. Statistical analysis of these data indicates that the probable maximum number of infested cattle herds in Great Britain is 112. To detect the disease by direct clinical observation would require more than 500 herds to be infested, indicating that the serological testing of this number of cattle and farms is more than four times as sensitive as clinical observation for the detection of hypodermosis.

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