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  • 1 China Agricultural University Key Laboratory of Zoonoses of the Ministry of Agriculture and National Animal Protozoa Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine Beijing 100193 People’s Republic of China
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Abortion in dairy cattle causes considerable economic losses to the dairy industry. Aborted fetuses and samples from the corresponding aborting dams from 12 dairy herds in Beijing were tested for 9 abortifacient infectious pathogens by PCR between 2008 and 2010. From a total of 80 abortion cases collected during this period, infectious agents were detected in 45 (56.3%) cases, 22 (48.9%) of which represented co-infections with two or three infectious agents. The detected pathogens included infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus (36.3%) and Neospora caninum (31.3%), followed by bovine viral diarrhoea virus (7.5%), Brucella abortus (6.3%), Tritrichomonas foetus (5%) and Toxoplasma gondii (1.3%). Campylobacter fetus, Coxiella burnetii and Chlamydophila psittaci were not detected in any abortion case. Findings from this study indicated that infectious bovine rhinotracheitis virus and Neospora caninum were the main potential causes of abortions in Beijing dairy herds, whereas the bacterial pathogens were not, in contrast to reports from other countries. This is the first study to test nine abortifacient infectious agents by PCR at the same time, and it is also the first time to report the involvement of a variety of infectious agents in bovine abortion cases in China.

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