Short communication: Broadening the diagnosis panel of reproductive pathogens associated with abortion in ruminants

Jose M. Díaz-Cao, Alberto Prieto, Gonzalo López-Lorenzo, Pablo Díaz-Fernández, Ceferino López-Sández, Patrocinio Morrondo, Gonzalo Fernández-Rodríguez


Diagnosis of abortion in cattle, sheep and goat have been mainly focused on abortive pathogens with a recognized impact in outbreaks, but the aetiologic diagnosis rates have been historically low worldwide. Thus, we analysed the presence of pathogens in abortion outbreaks, focusing on the less-common pathogens in cattle farms with control programmes for reproductive pathogens, and in ovine and caprine farms. Thirty-one cases from Galician farms submitted to our laboratory during 2013-2015 were analysed (16 bovine, 7 ovine and 8 caprine farms) by polymerase chain reaction and culture from foetal tissues (n = 52 foetuses). Diagnosis was reached in 21/31 farms: 9/16 in bovine, 6/7 in ovine and 6/8 in caprine. Campylobacter spp. were found in all three species (3/9 diagnosed cases in bovine, 2/6 in ovine and 4/6 in caprine). Furthermore, Ureaplasma diversum was detected in cattle (4/9 of diagnosed cases), Bovine Viral Diarrhoea Virus – 2 was detected in sheep (2/6) and Neospora caninum in goats (1/6). Our results prove the occurrence of abortion in response to pathogens that are traditionally considered less relevant and rarely included in the diagnosis of ruminant abortion. Therefore, differential diagnosis of abortion should consider these pathogens (at least when other causes have been ruled out), to effectively control abortion in farms.


cattle; sheep; goat; PCR; Spain

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DOI: 10.5424/sjar/2018162-12180