15 September 1995

ABORTIONS ARE BEING UNDERDIAGNOSED

Studies by Prof Ellis at Stormont, Belfast, found that 22% of cows known to have aborted due to leptospirosis infection tested negative. This reflects that leptospirosis abortions are being under-diagnosed, says Liverpool Universitys Dr Richard Murray.

It was found that an ELISA (enzyme linked immuno sorbant assay) test showed an increase in the number of cows testing positive, when the result was negative in the existing MAT (microscopic agglutination) test.

The ELISA test showed 91% of a group of cows to be positive compared with only 68% in the MAT test, claims Dr Murray.

"Lepto abortions need to be diagnosed more efficiently, and this may be one way to tackle it," he says.