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  • Author or Editor: William W. Laegreid x
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Objective—To determine the prevalence of antibodies against small ruminant lentivirus (SRLV), the causative agent of ovine progressive pneumonia (OPP), and to identify risk factors associated with OPP in Wyoming sheep flocks.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—1,415 sheep from 54 flocks in Wyoming.

Procedures—Flocks were surveyed as part of the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) 2011 sheep study. Serum samples obtained from sheep in Wyoming were analyzed for anti-SRLV antibodies by use of a competitive-inhibition ELISA. The prevalence of seropositive animals overall and within each flock was calculated. Respective associations between flock OPP status and various demographic and management variables were assessed.

Results—The estimated prevalence of sheep seropositive for anti-SRLV antibodies and OPP-infected flocks in Wyoming was 18.0% and 47.5%, respectively. Within OPP-infected flocks, the prevalence of seropositive sheep ranged from 3.9% to 96%. Flocks maintained on nonfenced range were more likely to be infected with OPP than were flocks maintained on fenced range (OR, 3.4; 95% confidence interval, 1.1 to 10.7). The estimated prevalence of OPP-infected flocks in Wyoming did not vary substantially from that at the regional or national level reported in the NAHMS 2001 sheep study. Compared with results of the NAHMS 2011 sheep study, Wyoming producers were more familiar with OPP than were other US sheep producers, but only 61% of Wyoming producers surveyed reported being very or somewhat familiar with the disease.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that OPP is prevalent in many Wyoming sheep flocks, which suggested that continued efforts are necessary to increase producer knowledge about the disease and investigate practices to minimize economic losses associated with OPP.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate associations between neonatal serum IgG1 concentration and pre- and postweaning morbidity and mortality rates and average daily gains (ADGs) in beef calves and define a cutoff point for serum IgG1 concentration necessary for optimal health and performance of beef calves.

Design—Nonconcurrent cohort study.

Animals—1,568 crossbred beef calves.

Procedure—Single radial immunodiffusion was used to quantitate IgG1 concentration in sera collected from calves between 24 and 72 hours after birth. Logistic regression, ANCOVA, and likelihood ratios were used to analyze data.

Results—In the preweaning period, lower perinatal IgG1 concentrations were significantly associated with higher morbidity rates, higher mortality rates, and lower ADGs. Calves with serum IgG1 concentration < 2,400 mg/dL were 1.6 times as likely to become ill before weaning and 2.7 times as likely to die before weaning as calves with higher serum IgG1 concentrations. Calves with serum IgG1 concentration of at least 2,700 mg/dL weighed an estimated 3.35 kg (7.38 lb) more at 205 days of age than calves with lower serum IgG1 concentration. No significant association of serum IgG1 concentration with feedlot morbidity, death, or ADG was identified.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—By use of likelihood ratios, the threshold of serum IgG1 concentration for optimal health and performance of calves was higher than values reported previously. Implementation and maintenance of management and intervention strategies designed for early detection and treatment of calves at risk for failure of passive transfer will likely result in increases in preweaning health and performance parameters.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether a selected set of 20 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers derived from beef cattle populations can be used to verify sample tracking in a commercial slaughter facility that processes primarily market (ie, culled) dairy cows.

Design—Prospective, blinded validation study.

Animals—165 cows and 3 bulls from 18 states (82% Holstein, 8% other dairy breeds, and 10% beef breeds).

Procedure—Blood was collected by venipuncture from randomly chosen animals just prior to slaughter. The purported corresponding liver samples were collected during beef processing, and genotype profiles were obtained for each sample.

Results—On the basis of SNP allele frequencies in these cattle, the mean probability that 2 randomly selected individuals would possess identical genotypes at all 20 loci was 4.3 × 10-8. Thus, the chance of a coincidental genotype match between 2 animals was 1 in 23 million. Genotype profiles confirmed appropriate matching for 152 of the 168 (90.5%) purported bloodliver sample pairs and revealed mismatching for 16 (9.5%) pairs. For the 16 mismatched sample pairs, 33% to 76% of the 20 SNP genotypes did not match (mean, 52%). Discordance that could be attributed to genotyping error was estimated to be < 1% on the basis of results for split samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that this selected set of 20 bovine SNP markers is sufficiently informative to verify accuracy of sample tracking in slaughter plants that process beef or dairy cattle. These or similar SNP markers may facilitate high-throughput, DNA-based, traceback programs designed to detect drug residues in tissues, control of animal diseases, and enhance food safety. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:1311–1314)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association