Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953 Page: 5
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LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION AFFECTED BY ANIMAL DISEASES 5
which results in bulls with poor breeding ability being kept too long.
The disease most frequently encountered is vibriosis. It plagues the
cattle industry throughout the Nation. Many brucellosis-free herds
still suffer economic losses from reduced calf crops and lowered milk
yields caused by Vibrio fetus.
Critical studies of the lesions produced by Vibrio fetus have been
hindered by the tissue deterioration which usually precedes actual
abortions, also by a lack of suitable laboratory animals. The Michigan
station, using goats, has been able to describe lesions considered
typical of V. fetus infection. These were produced by intrauterine
inoculations of the organisms. The station also made observations on
several animals inoculated intravenously and found that there was an
apparent absence of the organisms in uterine material. Thus V.
fetus may be capable of causing abortions in a manner yet unexplained.
Inability to demonstrate its presence by bacteriological
examination of the uterine material may turn out to be an important
clue that, sooner or later, will lead to explanation of some of the
presently undetermined causes of abortions.
The North Carolina and New York (Cornell) stations found that
there are limitations to the blood agglutination test as a diagnostic
tool. It serves best perhaps as a herd screening test. These stations
and the Storrs (Connecticut) and Oregon stations report encouraging
results with a new test (tampon) based on examination of cervical
vaginal mucus for Vibrio fetus agglutinins. Preliminary results indicate
that the new test is more sensitive than the blood test and will
thus pick out additional infected animals missed by the latter.
Vibriosis is spread mainly, if not entirely, by infected bulls during
service. The infection may also be spread by artificial insemination
if the semen is not properly treated with antibiotics. The New York
(Cornell) station treated contaminated semen with 500 units each of
penicillin and streptomycin, diluted at least 1 to 25, and held for
at least 6 hours before use in order to inactivate vibrios.
Infected heifers and cows eventually conceive although they may
require many services and often have long estrual cycles. In an attempt
to overcome this type of sterility due to Vibrio fetus, the Storrs
(Connecticut) station employs intrauterine infusions with antibiotics.
Following such treatment 34 of 41 repeat breeding cows conceived
from their first service. The station also found that bacterins prepared
with dead V. fetus cells are not very satisfactory for immunization
purposes. The North Carolina station, on the other hand, reported
encouraging results with living V. fetus attenuated by chick
embryo passage. These findings warrant further study of the vaccine
for use as a means of controlling vibriosis.
Another disease that occurs in a large percentage of dairy and
beef cattle herds is nodular vulvitis, more commonly known as granular
vaginitis. The cause of this disease is not clearly understood.
The Rhode Island station has isolated Escherichia coli from a white,
pustular lesion on the vaginal wall of a cow. Lesions of this type
are sometimes seen in cases of granular vaginitis. After a series of
transfers on laboratory media the organism was used to inoculate an
apparently disease-free heifer 6 months of age. After 6 days, typical
lesions of granular vaginitis developed and persisted. Repetition of
previous experiments at this station on the value of antibiotics fed
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United States. Office of Experiment Stations. Report on the Agricultural Experiment Stations, 1953, book, 1953; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5989/m1/7/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.