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Toxoplasma gondii induced abortion storm in a dairy goat herd

Stormoen M, Daae KM, Hopp P, Hofshagen M, Tharaldsen J. Abortstorm på grunn av toksoplasmose i en geitebesetning. Norsk Veterinær Tidsskrift 2010; 122: 7-13

A Norwegian herd consisting of 105 goats went through an outbreak of toxoplasmosis. The majority of animals in the herd (70 %) either had the foetus resorbed or aborted or gave birth to stillborn or weak kids. A total of 32 adult goats were part of a research project that lasted for 44 days. Due to an increasing number of abortions in the herd, blood samples collected from the experimental goats every other week were submitted for analysis for T. gondii antibodies. The titres rose through the first four weeks and then declined. This finding suggests an acute infection in the herd. In the experimental group, 19 goats developed very high titres (1:54,000), and only two of these animals remained negative throughout the observation period. Pathological examinations performed on aborted foetuses and placentas showed necrosis and calcification of the cotyledons. Immunohistochemistry performed on some of this material was positive for T. gondii. The timing of the foetal deaths in this outbreak indicates that the outcome of pregnancy depended on the stage of gestation at the time of infection. Infection at an early stage seemed to increase the risk of resorption and abortion. The experimental group and the rest of the herd were housed under different conditions, but with identical feeding, and the outcome of the infection was similar in the two groups. This is a well documented outbreak of toxoplasmosis which illustrates the importance of T. gondii as a cause of abortion in goats and the serious consequences that may follow.

NVI authors

Hopp Petter


Hofshagen Merete