Cohort study of natural transmission and two methods for control of caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus infection in goats on a California dairy.

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A prospective observational cohort study of 361 dairy goat kids was conducted to compare 2 methods of controlling caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus infection under commercial dairy conditions. To compare effectiveness of feeding kids pasteurized milk vs serologic testing and segregation in addition to pasteurized milk feeding, goats were monitored up to the age of 30 months by use of monthly agar gel immunodiffusion testing. Survival analysis methods were used to determine whether age at seroconversion differed between the 2 groups. Significantly lower rates of seroconversion were observed in the segregated group (P < 0.001), compared with the nonsegregated group. Of 193 goats in the pasteurized milk-only group, 146 (75.6%) seroconverted within the 30-month study period, whereas infection was detected in 39 (23.2%) of 168 goats in the test/segregated group. Nonsegregated goats were 3.37 times more likely to seroconvert by 24 months of age, and 70.3% of seroconversions by 24 months of age could be attributed to nonsegregation. For age-specific intervals beyond 180 days of age, 70 to 100% of seroconversions could be attributed to lack of segregation. Cohort life tables for age at seroconversion were reported for each group. Type of colostrum fed, sex, and weaning group (season) were not significantly associated with age at seroconversion. Saanen goats had lower age-specific risk of seroconversion in the nonsegregated group alone and overall. Non-Saanen goats wee 1.5 times more likely to seroconvert than were Saanen goats, when adjusted for a possible confounding effect of weaning group. Results indicate that pasteurized milk feeding and routine test and segregation would be a substantially more effective means of control of the disease in dairy goat herds than would pasteurized milk feeding alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2386-2395
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1992


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)

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