A new transtracheal bronchoalveolar lavage technique for the diagnosis of respiratory disease in sheep under field conditions was tested in 76 sheep. The sheep were divided into three groups, normal sheep, sheep with clinical signs of respiratory disease and housed sheep, on the basis of their respiratory disease history and husbandry conditions. The detection of Mannheimia haemolytica and Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae or parainfluenza virus type 3 and bovine respiratory syncytial virus antigen in the lavage samples was closely correlated with clinical disease. The sheep with clinical respiratory disease had a higher mean percentage of neutrophils in the lavage fluid than the sheep in the other two groups.
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