Toxoplasmosis and other causes of abortions in sheep from north central United States

J. P. Dubey From the Zoonotic Diseases Laboratory, Livestock and Poultry Sciences Institute, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center-East, USDA, Bldg 1040, Beltsville, MD 20705 (Dubey), and the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, Department of Veterinary Science, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007 (Kirkbride).

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 MVSc, PhD
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C. A. Kirkbride From the Zoonotic Diseases Laboratory, Livestock and Poultry Sciences Institute, Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center-East, USDA, Bldg 1040, Beltsville, MD 20705 (Dubey), and the Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, Department of Veterinary Science, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD 57007 (Kirkbride).

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Summary

Between 1983 and 1989, we examined 1,201 aborted fetuses and dead lambs from the north central United States. Toxoplasmosis was diagnosed in 17.5%, campylobacteriosis in 9.9%, chlamydiosis in 4.7%, and miscellaneous infections in 15.1%. Inflammatory lesions suggestive of infectious causes were seen in 13%. Noninfectious causes were identified in 6.1%, and a diagnosis was not reached in 33.3%. An agglutination test was used to detect Toxoplasma gondii-specific antibodies in ovine fluids. Toxoplasma gondii antibodies were detected in 223 of 1,064 (20.9%) fluids from fetuses and dead lambs. Of 201 seropositive (≥ 16) fetuses and lambs, T gondii antibody titers (reciprocal) were 16 (21 fetuses and lambs), 32 (10 fetuses and lambs), 64 (2 fetuses and lambs), 128 (7 fetuses and lambs), 256 (9 fetuses and lambs), 512 (5 fetuses and lambs), 1,024 (15 fetuses and lambs), 2,048 (13 fetuses and lambs), 4,096 (13 fetuses and lambs), 8,196 (13 fetuses and lambs), 16,392 (19 fetuses and lambs), and ≥ 32,784 (74 fetuses and lambs).

Summary

Between 1983 and 1989, we examined 1,201 aborted fetuses and dead lambs from the north central United States. Toxoplasmosis was diagnosed in 17.5%, campylobacteriosis in 9.9%, chlamydiosis in 4.7%, and miscellaneous infections in 15.1%. Inflammatory lesions suggestive of infectious causes were seen in 13%. Noninfectious causes were identified in 6.1%, and a diagnosis was not reached in 33.3%. An agglutination test was used to detect Toxoplasma gondii-specific antibodies in ovine fluids. Toxoplasma gondii antibodies were detected in 223 of 1,064 (20.9%) fluids from fetuses and dead lambs. Of 201 seropositive (≥ 16) fetuses and lambs, T gondii antibody titers (reciprocal) were 16 (21 fetuses and lambs), 32 (10 fetuses and lambs), 64 (2 fetuses and lambs), 128 (7 fetuses and lambs), 256 (9 fetuses and lambs), 512 (5 fetuses and lambs), 1,024 (15 fetuses and lambs), 2,048 (13 fetuses and lambs), 4,096 (13 fetuses and lambs), 8,196 (13 fetuses and lambs), 16,392 (19 fetuses and lambs), and ≥ 32,784 (74 fetuses and lambs).

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