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Northern Ireland disease surveillance report
Northern Ireland disease surveillance, January to March 2012

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  • Pulmonary bovine tuberculosis in a heifer

  • Abomasal soft tissue sarcoma in a three-year-old cow

  • White muscle disease in a one-week-old Charolais bull calf

  • Cerebrocortical necrosis in a six-week-old lamb with a history of blindness and circling

  • Listeria monocytogenes septicaemia in a nine-month-old llama

These are among matters discussed in the Northern Ireland animal disease surveillance quarterly report for January to March 2012


Respiratory diseases

Respiratory disease was identified in 88 cattle postmortem submissions during the quarter. The most common pathogens identified included Mycoplasma bovis (15 cases), Pasteurella multocida (11 cases), Mannheimia haemolytica (11 cases), Trueperella (formerly Arcanobacterium) pyogenes (11 cases), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (five cases) and respiratory syncytial virus (three cases).

Pulmonary bovine tuberculosis

Tuberculoid granulomatous lesions were detected histologically on haematoxylin and eosin-stained slides (Fig Figs 1) and confirmed by Ziehl-Neelsen staining in a one-year-old heifer submitted with a history of recumbency and breathing difficulties. Due to the limited extent of the lesions, bovine tuberculosis was not considered to have been the primary cause of death in this case.

FIG 1:

Histological lesion of pulmonary tuberculoid granuloma in a one-year-old heifer. Haematoxylin and eosin. x 10

Alimentary diseases

Bovine viral diarrhoea/ mucosal disease

Of 7093 blood samples that were tested for bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) by virus isolation or antigen capture ELISA, 459 (6.5 per cent) were positive. In addition, 30 of 424 (7.1 per cent) submitted tissues and nasal mucus samples were positive by immunofluorescence. Thirteen cases of mucosal disease were confirmed by postmortem examination during the period.

Abomasal soft tissue sarcoma

An abomasal soft tissue sarcoma was diagnosed in a three-year-old cow that had calved three weeks previously. It had a history of chronic weight loss. The mural mass had resulted in thickening and obstruction of the abomasal pyloric area. The rumen and abomasum were distended with watery, bloodstained content, while the small intestine was collapsed and had scant content.

Neonatal enteritis

The pathogens identified in neonatal bovine faecal samples during …

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