Objectives - To estimate the extent to which abortion risk in dairy cattle during subsequent pregnancies was associated with congenitally-acquired Neospora caninum infection and previous abortions. Animals - 468 Holstein cattle. Procedure - Newborn heifer calves were tested for evidence of congenital infection attributable to N caninum and examined repeatedly until the completion of their second lactation for serologic status and evidence of abortion. Results - Compared with noninfected cows, congenitally infected cows had a 7.4-fold higher risk of abortion during their initial pregnancy and a 1.7-fold higher risk of aborting the first pregnancy during their first lactation. During the first pregnancy of their second lactation, congenitally infected cows that had aborted previously had a 5.6-fold higher risk of abortion, compared with cows that had not previously aborted and that were seronegative. The fetal risk period for N caninum-associated death began sooner and extended later during the initial pregnancy, compared with subsequent pregnancies. Conclusion - Congenitally acquired N caninum infection can cause a substantial number of abortions during the initial pregnancy of heifers, with abortion risk attributable to N caninum decreasing in subsequent pregnancies, possibly because of selective culling. Subsequent abortions can be expected in congenitally infected cows that have aborted previously.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||American Journal of Veterinary Research|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1997|
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