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Disease surveillance in England and Wales, May 2020

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APHA disease surveillance report headlines

  • Type II ostertagiosis in housed dairy heifers

  • Isolated case of osteogenesis imperfecta in a lamb

  • Porcine circovirus type 2-associated fetopathy in piglets

  • Duck virus enteritis causing mortality in Muscovy ducks

  • Seasonal malnutrition, starvation and parasitism in cormorants

  • Focus on bovine abortion

Highlights from the scanning surveillance network



Two dairy heifers were examined postmortem at the APHA Shrewsbury Veterinary Investigation Centre (VIC) from an organic dairy herd with 220 adult cows. Four other heifers had died in the preceding three to four weeks; they were in two housed groups each of around 40 animals aged between 12 and 20 months.

The first animal examined was 18 months old and was in poor condition, weighing only 232 kg. Its abdomen was distended, with a large amount of fairly dry forage in the rumen. The abomasum was dilated and had concentrate and forage content. Although the mucosa was autolysed, marked nodular thickening and inflammation was identifiable and there were also several ulcers (Fig 1).

Fig 1: Marked nodular mucosal thickening and inflammation of the abomasum of a dairy heifer with type II ostertagiosis

A worm egg count identified only 150 trichostrongyle eggs per gram in soft consistency faeces. However, histopathology confirmed a severe diffuse proliferative abomasitis with intralesional nematodes, consistent with a diagnosis of type II ostertagiosis.

The second animal died a few days later, after the heifers were treated with an ivermectin anthelmintic. It was around 14 months old and was also in poor condition. Only mild abomasal lesions were found, although the heifer had oral ulceration on the gums, at the edge of the hard pad and at the side of the tongue, and its gastric and mesenteric lymph nodes were very enlarged. Diagnosis was based on similar management and exposure.

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) …

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