Protozoal causes of reproductive failure in domestic ruminants.

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58 Scopus citations


Protozoan parasites are a significant cause of abortion and infertility in domestic ruminants. Toxoplasma gondii, a widespread cause of abortion in sheep and goats, and Sarcocystis spp., which cause a common, frequently asymptomatic infection of domestic ruminants, both have a two-host life cycle. Carnivorous definitive hosts spread the infection through their feces and domestic ruminants are intermediate hosts. A similar, recently recognized protozoa, Neospora sp., has emerged as an important cause of reproductive disease, especially as an abortifacient in dairy cattle. Neospora is presumed to also have a two-host life cycle, although the definitive host(s) has not been identified. The venereally transmitted Tritrichomonas foetus is an important cause of pregnancy loss in naturally bred cattle throughout the world. In the absence of effective methods for vaccination or treatment, control of these parasites is based on management procedures to reduce infection and transmission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-461
Number of pages23
JournalThe Veterinary clinics of North America. Food animal practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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