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Comparison of histology with maternal and fetal serology for the diagnosis of abortion due to bovine neosporosis
  1. A. Otter, MA, VetMB, PhD, MRCVS1,
  2. M. Jeffrey, BVMS, DVM, MRCPath, MRCVS2,
  3. S. F. E. Scholes, BVM&S, PhD, MRCPath, MRCVS2,
  4. B. Helmick, BA1,
  5. J. W. Wilesmith, BVSc, MRCVS3 and
  6. A. J. Trees, BVM&S, PhD, MRCVS4
  1. 1 Veterinary Investigation Centre, Job's Well Road, Johnstown, Carmarthen SA31 3EZ
  2. 2 Lasswade Veterinary Laboratory, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 OSA
  3. 3 Central Veterinary Laboratory, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3N1
  4. 4 Veterinary Parasitology, School of Tropical Medicine and Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Liverpool, Pembroke Place, Liverpool L3 5QA


An indirect fluorescent antibody test was applied to sera from normally calving and aborting cows and to samples of pleural fluid from their aborted calves, and the antibody titres were compared with histology and immunocytochemistry for the diagnosis of Neospora-associated abortion. Two groups of aborting cows and a third group of cows which had calved normally were used; group A consisted of 36 cows which aborted calves showing characteristic non-suppurative inflammatory lesions in which Neospora was demonstrated by immunocytochemistry, group B consisted of 100 cows which aborted calves without histological evidence of neosporosis, and group C consisted of 128 normally calved cows which were sampled within one month of calving. Serology on the maternal sera and fetal fluids was highly specific and sensitive for Neospora infection although 5 per cent of the cows which aborted Neospora-negative calves and 4.7 per cent of the normally calved cows were also seropositive. Anti-Neospora antibodies were also detected in 7 per cent of the samples of fetal fluid from Neospora-negative abortions.

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