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Mortality of live export cattle on long-haul voyages: pathologic changes and pathogens

Moore, S.J., O'Dea, M.A., Perkins, N., Barnes, A. and O'Hara, A.J. (2014) Mortality of live export cattle on long-haul voyages: pathologic changes and pathogens. Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation, 26 (2). pp. 252-265.

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Abstract

The cause of death in 215 cattle on 20 long-haul live export voyages from Australia to the Middle East, Russia, and China was investigated between 2010 and 2012 using gross, histologic, and/or molecular pathology techniques. A quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) assay was used to detect nucleic acids from viruses and bacteria known to be associated with respiratory disease in cattle: Bovine coronavirus (Betacoronavirus 1), Bovine herpesvirus 1, Bovine viral diarrhea virus 1 and 2, Bovine respiratory syncytial virus, Bovine parainfluenza virus 3, Histophilus somni, Mycoplasma bovis, Mannheimia haemolytica, and Pasteurella multocida. The most commonly diagnosed cause of death was respiratory disease (107/180, 59.4%), followed by lameness (n = 22, 12.2%), ketosis (n = 12, 6.7%), septicemia (n = 11, 6.1%), and enteric disease (n = 10, 5.6%). Two thirds (130/195) of animals from which lung samples were collected had histologic changes and/or positive qRT-PCR results indicative of infectious lung disease: 93 out of 130 (72%) had evidence of bacterial infection, 4 (3%) had viral infection, and 29 (22%) had mixed bacterial and viral infections, and for 4 (3%) the causative organism could not be identified. Bovine coronavirus was detected in up to 13% of cattle tested, and this finding is likely to have important implications for the management and treatment of respiratory disease in live export cattle. Results from the current study indicate that although overall mortality during live export voyages is low, further research into risk factors for developing respiratory disease is required

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Publisher: American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians
Copyright: © 2014 The Author(s).
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/22083
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