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Disease presentations of Listeria monocytogenes in sheep

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Listeria monocytogenes is ubiquitous in soil and can also be found in the gastrointestinal tract of healthy animals. Exposure to the bacteria occurs following contamination of vegetation with soil or faeces. Poor-quality silage is a known risk factor for disease; however, outbreaks can be associated with other forage types. A high soil content, poor fermentation and/or exposure to air favour multiplication of Listeria in silage.

Despite exposure to Listeria being common, the morbidity rate is generally low. Immunosuppression, concurrent disease, level of challenge, nutrition and stress have all been proposed as potentially influencing the likelihood of clinical signs being seen.1 …

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