9 January 1998

Abortion due to parasite

CAUSE of abortion in cattle is often difficult to establish, but a Scottish survey reports that Neospora caninum might be an important cause of foetal loss.

Writing in Veterinary Record (Dec 20/27, 1997, vol 141, no 25), Dr Buxton and colleagues from the Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh and SAC Vet Services, St Boswells, report that 15.9% of aborted foetuses were shown to have antibody to the parasite.

They also warn that aborted foetuses infected early in gestation would not have been mature enough to produce antibody, and so would not have given a positive response in the survey. &#42