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Disease surveillance in England and Wales, September 2019

Statistics from

APHA disease Surveillance report headlines

  • Botulism being diagnosed more regularly in cattle

  • Duodenal sigmoid flexure volvulus in a ewe

  • Concurrent infection of pigs with porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus and Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae

  • Histomonosis in chickens

Highlights from the scanning surveillance network



Having been a rare diagnosis in the past, more recently outbreaks of botulism have been regularly diagnosed in cattle herds, and occasionally in sheep flocks.1 The great majority of these have been due to animals contacting broiler manure, which has a recognised potential for causing botulism.

Having been a rare diagnosis in the past, more recently outbreaks of botulism have been regularly diagnosed in cattle herds

Botulism is diagnosed on the basis of typical clinical signs of progressive weakness and a lack of alternative disease on postmortem examination, as there are no pathognomonic gross pathological findings. In some instances, testing for botulinum toxin, or for Clostridium botulinum, is done on intestinal content, although negative results do not preclude a diagnosis.

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 contributing to the Veterinary Investigation Diagnosis Analysis (VIDA) database and complying with standardised diagnostic and laboratory testing criteria. Other livestock and wildlife scanning surveillance reports may also be found at

A recent outbreak was investigated by the APHA Shrewsbury veterinary investigation centre (VIC) in a dairy herd of 220 cows. Five lactating cows developed typical signs of weakness leading to recumbency, or were found …

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