Leptospirosis. II. Investigation of clinical disease in dairy cattle in the Waikato district of New Zealand
New Zealand Veterinary Journal, Volume 30, Issue 9, pp 136-140, Sep 1982
Article class: Clinical Communication
Subject Terms: Abortion/stillbirth, Bacterial, Biosecurity, Clinical pathology, Diagnostic procedures, Disease/defect, Disease surveillance, Infectious disease, Public health, Reproduction, Reproduction - female, ZoonosisTaylor and Francis
AbstractInvestigations were carried out in 1975, 1976 and 1977 in 16 dairy herds where leptospiral abortions were suspected and in five other herds where clinical disease was not present. Both Leptospira interrogans serovars pomona and hardjo were isolated from cattle in herds with leptospirosis, but only pomona was recovered from those that had aborted. There was no evidence that hardjo caused clinical disease in dairy cattle in the Waikato district. It was found that 73% of the cows that aborted and 19% of other animals in the same herds had microscopic agglutination test titres to pomona of 1:2 000 or greater. By contrast, only 2% of cattle in herds without clinical evidence of leptospirosis had such titres. One cow retained a titre of 1:2 000 or greater to pomona for 7 months; titres of this order had a shorter duration in other cows. Leptospiruria occurred in 50% of cows that had aborted and in 9% of in-contact cows in the same herds. Only 0.7% of cows had leptospiruria in the herds with no clinical disease. Ten of 35 cows shedding pomona still had leptospiruria one month later. It was concluded that clinical leptospirosis should be diagnosed by testing a sample of the herd, rather than just individual cows, because of the variability and persistence of leptospiruria and serological titres in cows with and without clinical signs. Although hardjo is common in cattle in the Waikato district, it was not found to cause abortion in cattle.
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