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Bovine trichomoniasis: Results of a slaughter survey in Colorado and Nebraska

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Bovine trichomoniasis: Results of a slaughter survey in Colorado and Nebraska
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  Theriogenology 42:165-171 1994 zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLK BOVINE TRICHOMONIASIS: RESULTS OF A SLAUGHTER SURVEY IN COLORADO AND NEBRASKA D.M. Grotelueschen,ia J. Cheney,' D.B. Hudson,3 D.J. Schweitzer,4 C.V. Kimberling,' G.F. Taton-Allen,' K.A. Nielsen 1 and D.J. Marsh2 'University of Nebraska, Panhandle Research & Extension Center Scottsbluff, NE 69361 2Colorado State University, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory Fort Collins, CO 80523 3University of Nebraska, West Central Research & Extension Center North Platte, NE 69101 4Western Slope Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory Grand Junction, CO 80501 Received for publication: zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQ uly 5, 1993 Accepted: Apri Z 24, 1994 ABSTRACT A total of 2,909 bulls was cultured for the presence of Trichomonas fetus at slaughter at 4 abattoirs in Colorado and Nebraska. Samples were collected using the dry pipette preputial scraping technique and were transported to diagnostic laboratories within 24 h. Of the bulls cultured, 5 were positive. The state of the last srcin for each animal was Kansas, 1 bull, Montana, 1 bull, Nebraska, 1 bull, and Utah, 2 bulls. These results indicate an incidence of less than 1 (0.172 ) of trichomoniasis in the populations tested, even in the states of Colorado and Nebraska where the larger numbers of bulls were cultured. Key words: trichomoniasis, survey, bovine, venereal disease, protozoa Acknowledgements This research was supported by a grant from the Colorado Department of Agriculture and the Colorado Cattlemen's Association. The authors wish to acknowledge the following businesses for their participation: Callaway Packing Co., Delta, CO; Donoho Boneless Beef Co., Fort Collins, CO; Packerland Packing Co., Gering, NE; Western Valley Processing Plant, Scottsbluff, NE; and Gibbon Packing Co., Gibbon, NE. aPresent address: 4502 Avenue I, Scottsbluff, NE 69361 This research is published as Journal Series No. 10417, Agricultural Research Division, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. zyxwvut Copyright 0 1994 Butterworth Heinemann  166 zyxwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCB heriogenology zyxwvutsr INTRODUCTION Bovine trichomoniasis is a venereal disease caused by the protozoan Trichomonas fetus The disease can cause severe reproductive problems financial losses. inaffected herds resulting in significant The disease was first reported in dairy cattle in the United States in 1932 (12). Since that time it has been diagnosed frequently in beef cattle, with recent outbreaks of trichomoniasis in the United States primarily involving beef herds (6,7,24,25). Bulls do not exhibit clinical signs but tend to become imperceptible carriers of the infection. The location of 2. fetus in the bull is limited to the penis and prepuce, with no epithelial penetration of either the penis or prepuce (19). Bulls 3 to 4 yr of age or older have more fully developed preputial crypts and often become permanently infected with T. fetus (8,lO). Therefore, younger bulls are recognized as being less likely to be permanent carriers (4). Infections caused by T. fetus can have a marked impact on productivity and profitability in affected herds. Infected cows and heifers show clinical signs, including infertility, repeat breeding, pyometra, prolonged calving intervals, and abortions that may occur in early, mid or late gestation (4,5,25). Infected beef herds exhibit lowered pregnancy rates; levels of 40 to 70 are not unusual (6). Various management factors, including participation in grazing associations, use of multiple pastures within a herd, and ages of bulls in the herd potentially could influence the spread of infection within a herd. Trichomonad carrier cows have been documented and may be a factor in persistence of the infection within a herd (22). A licensed vaccine currently is available commercially in the United States (14). In a clinical trial involving the use of the polyvalent vaccine, 62.5 of vaccinated heifers produced calves while only 31.5 of unvaccinated control heifers produced calves (171. A formaldehyde-stabilized, whole cell vaccine in a mineral oil base has also been tested (15). The objective of this study was to collect data on the incidence of trichomoniasis in Colorado and Nebraska. MATERIALS AND METHODS Five abattoirs in eastern and western Colorado and in central and western Nebraska were selected for this survey which was conducted from the fall 1988 through the winter 1990. All 5 facilities slaughter primarily cows and bulls. The bulls slaughtered during the survey period represented multiple ages and breeds, as well as crossbred animals. These bulls came from 14 states and Canada. Identification of bulls was made by the federal brucellosis program backtag, which provided the state of last srcin. The exact srcin of the bulls could not be determined  Theriogenology 167 zyxwvuts because some animals were purchased and fed at feedlots or changed ownership and location for other reasons prior to slaughter. Preputial samples were obtained by the dry pipette preputial scraping technique by moving a dry, plastic, uterine infusion pipette, using a back and forth scraping motion over the preputial membranes, and by aspirating material into the pipette using an attached 12-ml disposable syringe, as has been described elsewhere (8,ll). A separate pipette was used for each bull. The preputial scraping samples were transported in USP physiological saline medium. Two milliliters of solution were placed into a sterile tube and the samples were maintained at room temperature to prolong the viability of the trichomonads. The samples were sent to the laboratory on the day of collection and were cultured within 24 h in modified Diamond's media. Cultures from bulls were taken during the slaughter process and preputial scraping samples were collected within 15 min following death. Cultures were examined at 3 University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories: the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Fort Collins, Colorado; the Western Slope Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, Grand Junction, Colorado; and the University of Nebraska Panhandle Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Scottsbluff, Nebraska. Culture media used in the study were prepared at Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Sample collection and preparation were standardized among the 3 sites as described. Samples from the Central Nebraska location were mailed to the Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for culturing, while samples at the Western Colorado, Eastern Colorado, and Western Nebraska sites were driven directly to the respective laboratories and cultured the day collected. Cultures were examined for the presence of trichomonads by phase contrast microscopy at x 40 and x 100. Approximately 2 min were required to read each slide which was prepared by placing a drop of culture medium under a 22 x 22-mm cover glass on a 25 x 75-mm microscope slide. Further identification was made by determining the presence of an undulating membrane with 1 trailing flagellum and 3 anterior flagella at x 400 magnification. Samples were examined following 24, 48, and 72 h of incubation. New positive cultures were found at each examination during the study. RESULTS The results of preputial scraping and culturing for Trichomonas fetus at abattoirs in Colorado and Nebraska are shown (Tables 1 and 2). NO positive cultures were obtained from 813 bulls in which Colorado was the last known state of srcin. One bull of the 892 cultured (0.11 ) in which Nebraska was the last known state of srcin was positive for trichomonads. Positive cultures were also obtained from animals for which Kansas (I bull),  168 Theriugenology zyxwvutsr Montana (1 bull), and Utah (2 bulls) was listed as the latest state of srcin. A total of 5 bulls from 14 states and Canada resulted in 0.172 (5 of 2,909 bulls) positive cultures. Table 1. Trichomonas fetus culture results by regional location Location Number of bulls Number of of abattoir cultured positive cultures Western Coloradoa 378 0 Eastern Coloradob 46 0 Central NebraskaC 1002 ld Western Nebraskae 1483 4f Totals 2909 5 a Delta, CO. b Ft. Collins, CO. ' Gibbon, NE. d Cultured positive at Colorado State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. : Gering, NE. and Scottsbluff, NE. Cultured positive at University of Nebraska Panhandle Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. Table 2. Trichomonas fetus culture results from bulls by state Number of Number of Percentage State of latest srcin bulls positive of positive cultured cultures cultures Colorado 813 0 0 Idaho 235 0 0 Iowa 64 0 0 Kansas 227 1 0.44 Missouri 30 0 0 Montana 133 1 0.75 Nebraska 892 1 0.11 New Mexico 4 0 0 North Dakota 12 0 0 Oklahoma 112 0 0 South Dakota 107 0 0 Texas 13 0 0 Utah 144 2 1.39 Wyoming 85 0 0 (Canada) 38 0 0 Total 2,909 5 0.172 Total (less Canada) 2,871 5 0.174  Theriogenology 169 zyxwvut Animals srcinating from Colorado and Nebraska accounted for 58 6 (1,705 bulls) of all animals (2,909 bulls) in the study. The 14 states that were represented in the study had more than one-half of the nation's 43 million cow population in 1988-90 (23). The results in our study obtained from bulls srcinating from DISCUSSION Colorado compare favorably to those of the herds surveyed during a 12-mo period of Round 3 of the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS) pilot project. During 1987 to 88, 502 bulls from 47 herds (n=11,267 cows) randomly selected throughout Colorado were cultured, with no positive animals detected (M King, personal communication, 1991). In a recent California study, 15.8 of 57 randomly selected herds had at least 1 infected bull (7). Results from a number of studies in the United States have ranged from 2.1 to 18.2 positive samples (1,3,7,13,16,24, KB Beeeman, personal communication, 1990). The results of our present study indicate a lower incidence than in other recently published studies. Trichomoniasis could have been concentrated in geographical areas which may or may not have been adequately represented in our or in earlier studies. Only small numbers of positive animals were identified in our study. Several factors may have influenced the results: I) Bulls may have been transported from the areas under study to other slaughter facilities, resulting in a lack of data from such animals. 2) Our results were based on 1 culture from each animal. A higher number of positive animals is detected under field conditions where repeated cultures can be taken. 3) Trichomonas control programs also may have reduced the incidence of infection in some geographical areas. The sensitivity of culture techniques for Trichomonas fetus is as high as 97 (2,ll). A recent study using Diamond's medium resulted in a sensitivity of 81.6 (22) .- The same study showed a loss of 14 sensitivity when preputial smegma had been stored in lactated Ringer's solution at 5OC. for 24 h. Culture techniques aid in distinguishing between intestinal and venereal trichomonads as well as in increasing the reliability of diagnostic results 20) - Therefore, culturing before a diagnosis of z. fetus is essential. A survey in Northern Australia found an infection rate of 0, 25, and 37 among bulls 9 mo to 3 yr, 3.5 to 7 yr, and older than 7 yr respectively (18). The specific ages of the bulls in our study are not known due to lack of availability of records. Since bulls were culled, most of the sampled bulls were probably 4 yr of age or older. Studies of breed tendencies for infection with z. fetus usually have been confounded because of differences in average age and in breeding programs for the different breeds within herds (4). Breed data were not collected in this study although multiple breeds, including crossbreeds were represented.
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