By Dr Mackie Hobson BSc(Agric),BVSc

Monday, 12th March 2018

Campylobacter (Campylobacter fetus fetus) is NOT a current reproductive issue in Angora goats but is a major problem effecting fertility in cattle in South Africa (Campylobacter fetus venerealis).

Campylobacteriosis  ( Campylobacter fetus) has been referred to as ‘Vibriosis’ in the past. It can cause abortion during the last 6 weeks of pregnanacy but can result in early neonatal loss. Once ewes have been infected they remain become immune and remain fertile in subsequent years. Due to the acquired immunity abortions are observed in maiden ewes.

The ewe is usually not infected but potentially could develop an endometritis and die.

How is campylobacter transmitted?

Infection is via ingested of contaminated feed, water or direct contact with aborted material. It is not sexually transmitted as is the case in cattle.

How does it cause abortion?

After infection a bacteraemia develops after about 10-14 days when the placenta and foetus becomes infected causing inflammation and necrosis. Death of the foetus occurs 1-3 weeks after exposure.

Clinical signs

Abortions after the 3rd month of pregnancy occur. Ewes may carry to full term but the kid would be weak or dead.

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