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J Vet Diagn Invest. 2007 Jan;19(1):96-8.

Detection of pathogens in ovine and caprine abortion samples from Sardinia, Italy, by PCR.

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  • 1Istituto Zooprofilattico, Via Duca degli Abruzzi 8, 07100 Sassari, Italy.


During 2003-2005, 399 abortion samples (315 fetuses and 84 placentae) were collected from 107 ovine and caprine farms in northern Sardinia. Tissues from aborted fetuses and placentae were examined by PCR assay to detect DNA from Coxiella burnetii, Chlamydophila abortus, Salmonella enterica Serovar abortusovis, Toxoplasma gondii, and Neospora caninum. The DNA from at least 1 of these 5 infectious agents was amplified in 41% of ovine fetuses, while only 17% of the caprine fetuses yielded a positive amplification result for at least 1 of the 5 agents. Out of a total of 366 ovine aborted samples, T. gondii DNA was detected most frequently (18.1% of fetuses and 13.1% of placentae), followed by S. abortusovis (13% of fetuses and 14.4% of placentae), C. burnetii (10.9% of fetuses, of 9.2% placentae), C. abortus (2.4% of fetuses, 6.5% of placentae), and N. caninum (2% of placentae). In 33 fetuses and 9 placentae, the simultaneous presence of pathogens with different associations was detected. Out of a total of 31 caprine aborted samples, T. gondii was detected most frequently (13% of fetuses and 25% of placentae), followed by C. abortus (12.5% of placentae), C. burnetii (12.5% of placentae), and N. caninum (8.6%).

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