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Dtsch Tierarztl Wochenschr. 1992 Sep;99(9):355-62.

[Abortions caused by protozoa in agricultural animals].

[Article in German]

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Zoonotic Diseases Laboratory, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, Maryland.


A review is given on abortions in livestock caused by Toxoplasma gondii, Neospora caninum and Sarcocystis spp. Special emphasis is put on diagnostic procedures. T. gondii is considered to be a major cause of abortions in sheep and goats. Diagnosis is based on the characteristic lesions in the cotyledons, histologic and immunohistochemical examination, and on the detection of specific antibodies in body fluids or serum of aborted fetuses. Whether abortions in swine due to T. gondii are of practical importance is still unclear. The most important causative protozoal agent of abortions in cattle is Neospora caninum. This protozoon was found in 19 per cent of cattle fetuses submitted for examination in USA. Occasionally it was found also in aborted lambs, kids and foals. Diagnosis is based on the histologic or immunohistochemical detection of the parasite. Abortions can be regularly induced experimentally in large and small ruminants and in pigs by the oral inoculation of sporocysts of certain Sarcocystis species. However, under natural conditions abortion due to Sarcocystis was diagnosed only occasionally and only in cattle and sheep. The histologic examination of the fetus and fetal membranes is the only way to diagnose Sarcocystis abortion or neonatal infection at present.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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