Those state regulations aimed at trying to control dollar losses caused by reduced calf crop, loss of good herd bulls and vet bills have done little to get rid of Trichomoniasis, which has been endemic in the United States for more than eight decades, University of Wyoming parasitologist and professor Chaoqun Yao writes here. And they likely won’t, he asserts in his article for the scholarly Journal of Medical Microbiology. The bull test-and-cull plan most state regulations now follow allow too many holes in the process:
- Sample collection is not always effective due to the relatively small numbers and intermittent presence of the protozoan in the sheath of suspect bulls.
- Testing frequency and intervals often miss infections.
- No test is 100 percent sensitive. And, even the best tests can be compromised by delay in getting samples to the diagnostic lab, Yao says.
A more comprehensive approach to controlling and eventually eradicating bovine trichomoniasis from U.S. cattle is possible, but difficult. In addition to the regulatory component, producers will also have to add management and animal-control measures to their operations to control infection. But at the end of the day, Yao says, in order to achieve eradication, American cow/calf producers will have to follow the only measure that successfully eradicated the disease in many European countries: widespread artificial insemination.
Source: Yao C. Diagnosis of Tritrichomonas foetus-infected bulls, an ultimate approach to eradicate bovine trichomoniasis in US cattle? J Med Microbiol. 2013 Jan;62(Pt 1):1-9. View All Blogs »