Biobest Laboratories Ltd

Neospora

 

The Disease

Neosporosis is a disease caused by the protozoa Neospora Caninum.  Abortion is the most common clinical sign of the disease however, occasionally, it can cause neurological disease in calves. Cattle are the intermediate host with dogs and foxes being the definitive hosts and therefore important in the biosecurity implications.

 

The Effect in Your Herd

Neospora is the most frequently diagnosed cause of abortion in cattle in the UK. This has high economic impact with loss of the calf, less milk produced and higher reproductive costs.

The Route of Infection

Neospora is transmitted in 2 ways

1. 'Vertical Infection' (endogenous transmission) - this is a direct transfer of infection from dam to calf across the placenta and is the most common form of transmission.

2. 'Horizontal Infection' (exogenous infection) - the cow ingests oocysts from pasture or feed contaminated with dog/fox faeces.

Biosecurity Specifically Targeted to Neospora

Dogs should not have access to carcases or afterbirth which should be removed as soon as possible, this helps prevent dogs becoming infected. Dogs should not have access to pasture for grazing and forage nor have access to areas of feed storage. Feed needs to be stored in vermin proof containers.

Disease and statusAnimals to be TestedAction Required
1. Annual Herd Test All females 2 years of age and over, plus any females between the ages of 1 and 2 that are intended for breeding and any purchased females.

If clear : Risk Level 2 awarded. 3 clear annual tests allow Risk Level 1 to be awarded.

If positives detected:

≤5% positives in the test: the herd is classified as 'Risk Level 3'

>5% positives: the herd is classified as 'Risk Level 4'.

2. Disease Reduction All females 2 years of age and over, plus any females between the ages of 1 and 2 that are intended for breeding and any purchased females. Positive female animals culled or removed from the breeding erd at the end of the curren lactation and management practices addressed to limit new infections.
3. Maintenance of Accreditation/ Risk Level 1 All females 2 years of age and over, plus any females between the ages of 1 and 2 that are intended for breeding and any purchased females.

If herd test is clear, the herd remains at Risk Level 1.