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Potential risk factors for bovine Neospora caninum infection in Germany are not under the control of the farmers

  • G. SCHARES (a1), A. BÄRWALD (a1), C. STAUBACH (a1), M. ZILLER (a1), D. KLÖSS (a1), R. SCHRÖDER (a1), R. LABOHM (a2), K. DRÄGER (a2), W. FASEN (a3), R. G. HESS (a2) and F. J. CONRATHS (a1)...

In the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, herds were identified that were likely to have a Neospora caninum sero-prevalence [ges ]10% by using a bulk milk ELISA. Individual herd data were obtained by a questionnaire. Univariate logistic regression showed that bulk milk positive farms had a significantly higher chance to report an increased abortion rate than negative farms (PWald<0·1). The chance to have a bulk milk positive herd increased with the minimum number of years a farm had reported an increased abortion rate (PWald<0·1). Questionnaire data, population and dog density as well as climatic data specific for the farm localization were used to identify potential risk factors for a herd to have acquired N. caninum infections. Within an optimized multiple logistic regression model ‘Number of farm dogs’, ‘Herd size’, and factors related to the municipality the farm was localized, i.e. ‘Mean temperature in July’, and ‘Dog density’ were significant risk factors (PWald<0·1). The present study underlines the role farm dogs have in the epidemiology of neosporosis. In addition, it suggests that the risk a herd has to acquire N. caninum infections is also associated with factors related to the farm location, i.e. factors that are largely out of the control of farmers.

Corresponding author
Federal Research Centre for Virus Diseases of Animals, Institute of Epidemiology, Seestrasse 55, D-16868 Wusterhausen, Germany. Tel: +49 33979 80193. Fax: +49 33979 80222. E-mail:
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