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Disease surveillance in England and Wales, February 2019

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APHA disease Surveillance report headlines

  • Histophilus somni and other bacterial causes of pneumonia in cattle

  • Ovine pulmonary adenomatosis

  • Bracken poisoning in pigs

  • Causes of death in European brown hares

  • Differential diagnosis in negated cases of avian notifiable disease

Highlights from the scanning surveillance network


Histophilus somni infection

In England and Wales, pneumonia associated with Histophilus somni infection is not uncommonly diagnosed by the APHA and its partner postmortem providers, although Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida and Mycoplasma bovis are the most prevalent bacterial causes (Fig 1).

Fig 1: Diagnoses of six of the common bacterial causes of pneumonia in cattle, 2013–2018, as a percentage of total pneumonia diagnoses (VIDA)

The APHA Thirsk Veterinary Investigation Centre (VIC) reported two outbreaks of H somni pneumonia. Both were in fattening calves that had been bought in, in one case four months previously, while in the second herd the calves had been on the farm for six weeks.

Postmortem examination of one calf from each herd, aged between four and five months, confirmed anteroventral pulmonary consolidation.

H somni was the only pathogen identified in one herd, while M bovis infection was also detected in the other.

H somni can cause several other manifestations of disease. The APHA Starcross VIC investigated the death of a five-month-old Friesian bull calf, which was reported to have shown acute respiratory signs before death. It was the only animal affected in a group of 30 on a bull beef unit that had a total of 500 animals which were vaccinated against viral pathogens.

About this report

This report is produced each month by the APHA Surveillance Intelligence Unit and the six Species Expert Groups (livestock and wildlife). The international horizon-scanning summaries are produced by the Defra/APHA International Disease Monitoring (IDM) team, notifiable disease reports by the APHA Veterinary Exotic and Notifiable Disease Unit (VENDU), and threat analysis by the cross-agency Veterinary Risk Group (VRG). The report is drawn from scanning surveillance information, data and reports produced by the APHA Veterinary Investigation Centres and non-APHA partner postmortem examination providers …

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