Epidemiological and financial considerations for the control of Neospora caninum on Swiss dairy farms

Haesler, B and Staerk, K D C and Gottstein, B and Reist, M (2008) Epidemiological and financial considerations for the control of Neospora caninum on Swiss dairy farms. SCHWEIZER ARCHIV FUR TIERHEILKUNDE, 150 (6). pp. 273-280.

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Abstract

Neospora caninum is widely recognized as one of the most important abortifacients in cattle and causes substantial financial losses to bovine livestock production. This study aimed to calculate the losses caused by N. caninuin on Swiss dairy farms and to evaluate the efficacy and profitability of the control strategies culling, not breeding replacements and chemotherapy of calves on farm level. Three different farm sizes with high, medium and low herd prevalences were defined. Epidemiological and financial models were used to simulate the effect of control strategies on the prevalence over time and to perform a cost-benefit analysis. The median annual losses on farm level ranged between CHF 3094.- (= (sic) 1875; 60 dairy cattle, high prevalence) and CHF 134.- (= (sic) 8 1; 15 dairy cattle, low prevalence). Culling of animals that had any abortion or a N. caninum abortion, or not breeding replacements from such animals, respectively, were neither effective nor profitable. Only the strategy "not breeding replacements from N. caninum seropositive on farms with a high prevalence was financially attractive. The strategy "chemotherapy of calves" should be re-evaluated as soon as new data regarding the efficacy of treatment and a corresponding protocol have been scientifically validated.