Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    Characteristics of Mycobacterium bovis infected herds tested with the interferon-gamma assay
    The IFN-γ (interferon gamma) assay is used in Ireland as an ancillary diagnostic test to the single intradermal comparative tuberculin test (SICTT) to maximise the detection of Mycobacterium bovis infected animals (bTB) in cattle herds. Understanding the relationships between herd and animal risk factors and IFN-γ test results is critical to enable the development and evaluation of policy measures on how best to use the test. In this study, we set out to characterise Irish herds with IFN-γ test positive animals in terms of herd size, number of SICTT reactors and number of IFN-γ positive tests, and to evaluate the IFN-γ test in terms of the test cut-off values. The results showed that larger herds with more SICTT reactors were likely to have more IFN-γ positives in the herd, and herds with an IFN-γ test positive animal that was also positive for bTB lesions at post-mortem had higher numbers of IFN-γ positive animals in the herd. Raising the cut-off values for the IFN-γ test only marginally decreased the combined sensitivity of the IFN-γ and the SICTT for diagnosis of bTB lesioned animals. The analysis has provided valuable information on the performance of the IFN-γ test as it is used under current bTB infection levels in Ireland.
      455Scopus© Citations 16
  • Publication
    Herd-level risk factors associated with Leptospira Hardjo seroprevalence in Beef/Suckler herds in the Republic of Ireland
    (Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.), 2012) ; ; ;
    Background: The aim of the present study was to investigate risk factors for herd seropositivity to Leptospira Hardjo in Irish suckler herds. Herds were considered eligible for the study if they were unvaccinated and contained ≥ 9 breeding animals of beef breed which were ≥ 12 months of age. The country was divided into six regions using county boundaries. Herd and individual animal prevalence data were available from the results of a concurrent seroprevalence study. Herds were classified as either "Free from Infection" or "Infected" based on a minimum expected 40% within-herd prevalence. Questionnaires were posted to 320 farmers chosen randomly from 6 regions, encompassing 25 counties, of the Republic of Ireland. The questionnaire was designed to obtain information about vaccination; reproductive disease; breeding herd details; the presence of recognized risk factors from previous studies; and husbandry on each farm. Data collected from 128 eligible herds were subjected to statistical analysis. Results: Following the use of Pearson's Chi-Square Test, those variables associated with a herd being "infected" with a significance level of P < 0.2 were considered as candidates for multivariable logistic regression modelling. Breeding herd size was found to be a statistically significant risk factor after multivariable logistic regression. The odds of a herd being positive for leptospiral infection were 5.47 times higher (P = 0.032) in herds with 14 to 23 breeding animals compared with herds with ≤ 13 breeding animals, adjusting for Region, and 7.08 times higher (P = 0.033) in herds with 32.6 to 142 breeding animals. Conclusions: Breeding herd size was identified as a significant risk factor for leptospiral infection in Irish suckler herds, which was similar to findings of previous studies of leptospirosis in dairy herds.
      499Scopus© Citations 18
  • Publication
    Investigation of the association between the Enferplex bovine tuberculosis antibody test and the future risk of bovine tuberculosis in irish cattle in infected herds: a pilot field study
    The Single Intradermal Comparative Tuberculin Test (SICTT) and the interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) assay are the approved diagnostic tests for bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in Ireland. The aim of this pilot study was to explore if there was any added diagnostic benefit from applying the Enferplex bTB test (an antibody test) in severe bTB herd breakdowns after the removal of cattle that had tested positive to the SICTT and the IFN-γ test. In addition to the normal bTB testing and management protocols, the animals in these herds that tested negative to SICTT and the IFN-γ test were followed forward for a period of two years. All animals were tested by Enferplex at enrolment. The time to subsequent bTB detection (diagnosed with SICTT/IFN-γ tests or detection of visible lesions at routine slaughter) for animals that tested positive or negative to the Enferplex bTB test at the start of the study was compared using Kaplan–Meier survival curves and Cox based survival models. Of the 484 enrolled animals (from 11 herds), 171 (35.3%) and 151 (31.1%) initially tested positive in the Enferplex assay under the high sensitivity and high specificity interpretation settings respectively. The results of the survival analysis showed that there was no difference in the survival time to a positive diagnosis with bTB during the follow-up period between animals initially classified as positive and negative by the Enferplex test. Further research is warranted to explore the potential benefit of using the Enferplex test in other scenarios.
      38Scopus© Citations 2
  • Publication
    Seroprevalence of Leptospira Hardjo in the Irish suckler cattle population
    (Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.), 2012) ; ; ;
    Background: Prior to the present study, the seroprevalence of leptospirosis in Irish suckler herds was unknown. In this study, we describe the herd and animal-level prevalence of Leptospira Hardjo infection in the Irish suckler cattle population. For the purposes of the study, the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland were divided into 6 regions from which a representative number of herds were selected. A herd was considered eligible for sampling if it was not vaccinating against leptospirosis and if it contained ≥ 9 breeding animals of beef breed ≥ 12 months of age. In total, 288 randomly selected herds were eligible for inclusion in the seroprevalence dataset analysis. Serological testing was carried out using a commercially available monoclonal antibody-capture ELISA, (sensitivity 100%; specificity 86.67%). Results: Herds were categorised as either “Free from Infection” or “Infected” using the epidemiological software tool, FreeCalc 2.0. Using this classification, 237 herds were “Infected” (82.29%). The South West and South East regions had the highest herd prevalence. The regional effect on herd prevalence was largely mirrored by breeding herd size. A true animal-level prevalence of 41.75% was calculated using the epidemiological software tool, TruePrev. There was a statistically significant regional trend, with true prevalence being highest in the South East (P < 0.05). The median Breeding Herd Size (BHS), when categorised into quartiles, had a statistically significant influence on individual animal true seroprevalence (P < 0.001); true seroprevalence increased with increasing BHS. Conclusions: Leptospirosis is a widespread endemic disease in the Republic of Ireland. It is possible that economic losses due to leptospirosis in unvaccinated Irish suckler herds may be underestimated.
      480Scopus© Citations 27
  • Publication
    The effect of growth rate on reproductive outcomes in replacement dairy heifers in seasonally calving, pasture-based systems
    The effect of average daily gain (ADG) on reproductive outcomes in replacement dairy heifers was investigated. All heifers were managed in the typical Irish spring calving, pasture-based system, where the herd calves in 1 block between January and April and the majority of the diet comprises grazed grass. Heifer calves (n = 399) from 7 herds were weighed at birth and at the beginning of the breeding season, and ADG was calculated. Service dates and pregnancy diagnosis results were recorded, and conception dates were calculated. Days open (DO) was defined as the number of days between the beginning of the breeding season and conception. Genetic data were retrieved from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation database. A Cox proportional hazard model was constructed to identify variables with a significant effect on DO. An accelerated failure time model was used to predict survival curves and median survival times for different combinations of the significant variables. The ADG ranged from 0.41 to 0.91 kg/d, with a median of 0.70 kg/d. Frailty effect of farm within year, maintenance subindex of the economic breeding index, and ADG had a significant effect on DO. Derived from the final accelerated failure time model, the predicted median DO for a heifer with an ADG of 0.40, 0.70, or 0.90 kg/d aged 443 d at the beginning of the breeding season and with a maintenance subindex in the second tercile were 27, 16, and 11 d, respectively.
      381Scopus© Citations 10
  • Publication
    Mastitis Control and Intramammary Antimicrobial Stewardship in Ireland: Challenges and Opportunities
    The Veterinary Medicines Regulation (EU 2019/6) came into force in all EU member states on 28 January 2022. This regulation places particular emphasis on prudent and responsible antimicrobial use in food animal production. Key changes include restrictions on the prophylactic use of antimicrobials in animals, and the possibility to reserve certain antimicrobials for humans only. The Regulation presents challenges to the Irish dairy industry, particularly with respect to current approaches to dry cow therapy. In response, the CellCheck technical working group (TWG, a technical group working in support of CellCheck, the national mastitis control programme) have developed pragmatic national and farm-level recommendations in support of improved mastitis control and intramammary antimicrobial stewardship in the Irish dairy industry. This paper outlines these recommendations, and provides an overview of the evidence considered to inform the TWG during its work (including the Regulation, policy perspectives, international best-practice, international scientific reviews and specific Irish challenges). In many key areas of concern, the TWG recognises the challenges in seeking to shape recommendations in the absence of robust and practical scientific evidence. For this reason, some of the recommended actions are pragmatic in nature, informed by national and international experiences. Periodic programme review will be needed, informed by ongoing monitoring of key performance indicators, to identify those actions that are most effective in an Irish context.
      91Scopus© Citations 5
  • Publication
    Tuberculosis in alpaca (Lama pacos) on a farm in Ireland. 1. A clinical report
    (Springer (Biomed Central Ltd.), 2008) ; ; ;
    This case report describes tuberculosis (TB) due to infection with Mycobacterium bovis (M. bovis) in alpaca (Lama pacos) on a farm in Ireland. Two severely debilitated alpaca were presented to the University Veterinary Hospital, University College Dublin in November 2004. Bloods were taken, and haematology and biochemistry results were indicative of chronic infection. Radiological examination showed evidence of diffuse granulomatous pneumonia suggestive of tuberculosis. On necropsy there were granulomatous lesions present throughout many body organs including lung, liver, kidney, intestine as well on peritoneum and mesentery. Culture of acid-fast bacilli from lesions led to a diagnosis of tuberculosis due to M. bovis. The use of intradermal skin testing proved inefficient and unreliable for ante mortem diagnosis of tuberculosis in alpaca. Infection due to M. bovis should be considered among the differential diagnoses of debilitating diseases in alpaca, particularly those farmed in areas known to be traditional black spots for tuberculosis in cattle.
      698Scopus© Citations 26