This study was undertaken to determine if the proportion of dairy cow abortions attributable to Neospora sp. infection increased or occurred in a seasonal cycle during a 6-yr period. Abortions caused by Neospora sp. were tallied for all fetuses submitted to the Tulare branch of the California Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory between January 1985 and December 1990. Regression analysis of 221 cases of Neospora among 762 fetuses submitted showed a weak increasing secular trend (P = 0.053, r2 = 0.05), with predicted monthly proportions at the beginning and end of the 6 yr of 0.16 and 0.33, respectively. Using a Kolmogorov-Smirnov-type statistic, comparison of the 12-mo distribution of Neospora sp. cases and a hypothetical distribution of cows at risk of aborting found about 16% of variation in cases was attributable to season (P < 0.01). More cases were found in winter than in summer and early fall. Results indicate that Neospora sp. abortion in California dairy cows is not new or recently emerging and that seasonally related factors influence some of the risk of abortion. Results suggest that Neospora sp. has contributed to the high dairy cow abortion rate for many years, and that seasonally varying exposures may predispose to transmission or recrudescence of infection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)