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An outbreak of Salmonella Abortusovis abortions in sheep in south Croatia.

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  • 1Croatian Veterinary Institute, Savska c. 143, HR-10000 Zagreb, Croatia.


The aim of the study was to give an account of the epidemic of abortions in sheep caused by Salmonella enterica ssp. enterica serovar Abortusovis, which occurred in Dalmatia, south Croatia, in winter 2003-2004. Five sheep flocks with rate of abortion ranging from 22% to 38% during the last-third of gestation were examined. Salmonella Abortusovis was isolated from 13 vaginal smears and two fetuses. Direct inoculation was found to be superior to pre-enrichment and enrichment in selective broth for Salmonella Abortusovis isolation. The isolates were biochemically identified, and characterized by serotyping and polymerase chain reaction based on the amplification of the IS200 sequence specific for Salmonella Abortusovis. A fragment of 900 bp was detected in all Salmonella Abortusovis isolates. The sensitivity testing of the isolates, carried out by the disk diffusion method and the determination of the minimal inhibitory concentrations, resulted in a high sensitivity to almost all antimicrobials used. Only two isolates were moderately sensitive to oxytetracycline, whereas one isolate showed resistance to streptomycin. Campylobacter fetus ssp. fetus and Listeria monocytogenes were excluded as causative agents of abortion in sheep by culture testing, and brucellosis, leptospirosis, Q fever and chlamydiosis by serological testing.

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