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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2010 Nov 1;237(9):1068-73. doi: 10.2460/javma.237.9.1068.

Repeated testing by use of culture and PCR assay to detect Tritrichomonas foetus carrier bulls in an infected Nebraska herd.

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1
Great Plains Veterinary Educational Center, School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Nebraska, Clay Center, NE 68933, USA. jondrak@gpvec.unl.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To compare methods for identification of bulls that were carriers for Tritrichomonas foetus during an outbreak on a large beef ranch and determine whether the percentage of nonpregnant cows was associated with the percentage of bulls infected with T foetus.

DESIGN:

Epidemiological study.

ANIMALS:

121 Angus and Hereford bulls (1.5 to 6 years old) and 2,960 Angus-cross cows (2.5 to 14 years old) managed as 5 herds on a Nebraska beef ranch.

PROCEDURES:

3 sequential preputial scrapings collected from the bulls at 12- to 27-day intervals were cultured, and cultures were examined for live T foetus daily for 5 days. On day 5, aliquots of the culture fluid were tested by means of T foetus-specific gel and real-time PCR assays. Cows were tested for pregnancy by means of rectal palpation.

RESULTS:

For 361 preputial scrapings obtained from 121 bulls, results of culture and gel PCR assay were in close agreement. The real-time PCR assay had similar sensitivity to culture and the gel PCR assay but generated more false-positive results. Twenty-four of the 121 (19.8%) bulls were identified as infected with T foetus. For the 5 ranch herds, there was a positive linear correlation between percentage of infected bulls (range, 0% to 40%) and percentage of nonpregnant cows (range, 8.3% to 19.2%).

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Results suggested that a combination of culture and the gel PCR assay performed on 3 sequential preputial scrapings was the best method for identifying bulls that were carriers for T foetus during this herd outbreak.

PMID:
21034347
DOI:
10.2460/javma.237.9.1068
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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