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  • Author or Editor: Cyrus Elmi x
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To determine whether sampling feces off the ground replicates prevalence estimates for specific pathogens obtained from fecal samples collected per rectum of adult cows, and to determine characteristics of feces on the ground (fecal pats) that are associated with subsequent identification of Campylobacter spp, Cryptosporidium parvum, and Giardia duodenalis.


A random sample of adult beef cattle from 25 herds located throughout California.


1,115 rectal and ground fecal samples were obtained. Samples were submitted for culture of Campylobacter spp and examined, using a direct fluorescent antibody assay, to detect C parvum oocysts and G duodenalis cysts. Characteristics of fecal pats, such as volume and consistency, were recorded.


Prevalence of Campylobacter spp was 5.0% (20/401) for rectal fecal samples, which was significantly greater than prevalence determined for ground fecal samples (2/402; 0.5%). Most isolates were C jejuni subsp jejuni. Prevalence of C parvum was higher in rectal fecal samples (6/557; 1.1%) than in ground fecal samples (1/558; 0.2%), but this difference was not significant. Prevalence of G duodenalis did not differ for rectal (36/557; 6.5%) versus ground (26/558; 4.7%) fecal samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

Evaluation of ground fecal samples may not accurately indicate the prevalence of Campylobacter spp or C parvum in cattle but may reflect prevalence of G duodenalis Differences in prevalence estimates between the 2 methods suggest inactivation of pathogens in feces after cattle have defecated. Prevalence estimates generated by evaluation of ground fecal samples, however, may more accurately estimate environmental pathogen burden. (Am J Vet Res 1999;60:1352–1356)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Data on costs associated with episodes of disease and disease prevention, including expenditures for veterinary services, were collected from 57 California beef cow-calf herds during 1988-1989 as part of the National Animal Health Monitoring System. Mean cost associated with episodes of disease was $33.90/cow-year, with $0.78 and $1.37/cow-year being spent for veterinary services and drugs, respectively. The highest costs for veterinary services related to episodes of disease were for dystocia, lameness, and ocular carcinoma. For disease prevention, mean expenditures for veterinary services were $1.67/cow-year, nearly all of which was spent on prevention of reproductive tract conditions. Preventive expenditures for veterinary services related to female infertility (pregnancy examination), vaccination against brucellosis and male infertility (breeding soundness examination) were $0.72, $0.39, and $0.22/cow-year, respectively. Many costs associated with episodes of disease and disease prevention were similar to those reported from Colorado National Animal Health Monitoring System beef herds.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Twenty-nine California dairy herds were studied over a 12-month period from 1988 to 1989 as part of the National Animal Health Monitoring System. Monthly interviews administered to dairy producers were used to measure the costs of all health-related expenditures and disease incidence in these herds. Of the total $1,523,558 reported, $1,355,467 (89%) was attributed to cost of disease events and $168,091 (11%) to cost of disease prevention. Most (78%) of the cost of disease events was attributable to death and culling losses. Veterinary services accounted for only $54,099 (4%) of total costs, 64% of which was used for disease prevention, compared with 36% for disease treatment. Udder disease was the most costly category of diseases reported at an average of $49.85/head at risk annually, followed by reproductive problems at $38.05. Through the use of sampling strategies less biased than those used in other surveys, the National Animal Health Monitoring System is designed to provide statistically-valid estimates of disease incidence and costs across broad geographic areas, potentially benefiting all those interested in the economics of livestock diseases in the United States.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association