Bovine Abortion Workups
by Dr. Gregg Hanzlicek
I think we all can agree that investigating abortion outbreaks can be very frustrating. Consistently, year after year across the U.S., only about 30% of abortion diagnostic submissions result in a definitive diagnosis.
In 2018, of the KSVDL submissions resulting in a definitive diagnosis, 25% were IBR and 21% were neospora associated abortions. The third most likely associations involved BVDV with 9.4% of the submissions. A large variety of other less-common associated causes were also found. (Figure 1)
It is interesting that no KSVDL cases in 2017 and 2018 were associated with Leptospirosis. Prior to 2016, up to 19% of the KSVDL cases had evidence of a Lepto component. However, KSVDL has diagnosed multiple Leptospirosis associated fetal loss cases in both 2017 and 2018 through dam serology titers, when aborted fetuses and placenta were not available for testing, but vaccination history was available.
When tissues are not available, the KSVDL abortion serology panel can be very useful in ruling-in and ruling-out pathogens.
Data from cases submitted to KSVDL in 2018 suggest that there are differences in the probability of a diagnosis between individual tests and combination tests. From these results, completing diagnostics to investigate the presence of both viruses and bacteria with the ADDITION of histology greatly increases the diagnosis probability to 46%. (Table 1)