Skip to main content Accessibility help

Management practices as risk factors for the presence of bulk milk antibodies to Salmonella, Neospora caninum and Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo in Irish dairy herds

  • E. O’ Doherty (a1) (a2), D. P. Berry (a1), L. O’ Grady (a2) and R. Sayers (a1)


A survey of management practices in 309 Irish dairy herds was used to identify risk factors for the presence of antibodies to Salmonella, Neospora caninum and Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo in extensively managed unvaccinated dairy herds. A previous study documented a herd-level seroprevalence in bulk milk of 49%, 19% and 86% for Salmonella, Neospora caninum and leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo, respectively in the unvaccinated proportion of these 309 herds in 2009. Association analyses in the present study were carried out using multiple logistic regression models. Herds where cattle were purchased or introduced had a greater likelihood of being positive to leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo (P<0.01) and Salmonella (P<0.01). Larger herds had a greater likelihood of recording a positive bulk milk antibody result to leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo (P<0.05). Herds that practiced year round calving were more likely to be positive to Neospora caninum (P<0.05) compared to herds with a spring-calving season, with no difference in risk between herds that practiced split calving compared to herds that practiced spring calving. No association was found between presence of dogs on farms and prevalence of Neospora caninum possibly due to limited access of dogs to infected materials including afterbirths. The information from this study will assist in the design of suitable control programmes for the diseases under investigation in pasture-based livestock systems.


Corresponding author


Hide All
Bartels, CJM, Wouda, W and Schukken, YH 1999. Risk factors for Neospora caninum associated abortion storms in dairy herds in the Netherlands (1995 to 1997). Theriogenology 52, 247257.
Bennett, RM 1993. Decision support models of leptospirosis in dairy herds. Veterinary Record 132, 5961.
Björkman, C, Alenius, S, Emanuelsson, U and Uggla, A 1996. Neospora species infection in a herd of dairy cattle. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 208, 14411444.
Carrique-Mas, JJ, Willmington, JA, Papadopoulou, C, Watson, EN and Davies, RH 2010. Salmonella infection in cattle in Great Britain, 2003 to 2008. Veterinary Record 167, 560565.
Charlier, J, Claerebout, E, De Muelenaere, E and Vercruysse, J 2005. Associations between dairy herd management factors and bulk tank antibody levels against Ostertagia Osteragi . Veterinary Parsitology 133, 91100.
Chi, J, VanLeeuwen, JA, Weersink, A and Keefe, GP 2002. Direct production losses and treatment costs of bovine viral diarrhoea virus, bovine leukosis virus, Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis and Neospora caninum . Preventive Veterinary Medicine 55, 137153.
CSO (Central Statistics Office), 2008. Farm structure survey 2007. Retrieved July 10, 2011, from
Dillon, P 2011. The Irish dairy industry – planning for 2020. In Proceedings of the Irish National Dairy Conference. The Irish Dairy Industry: To 2015 and Beyond, November 2011, Cork, Ireland, pp. 1–24. Retrieved January 29, 2013, from
Dillon, P, Crosse, S, Stakelum, G and Flynn, F 1995. The effect of calving date and stocking rate on the performance of spring-calving dairy cows. Grass and Forage Science 50, 286299.
Drennan, MJ, Carson, AF and Crosse, S 2005. Utilisation of grazed grass in temperate animal systems. Proceedings of a Satellite Workshop of the XXth Internaltional Grassland Congress, July 2005, Cork, Ireland, pp. 19–35.
Dubey, JP, Schares, G and Ortega-More, LM 2007. Epidemiology and control of neosporosis and Neospora caninum . Clinical Microbiology Review 20, 323367.
Evans, SJ and Davies, RH 1996. Case control study of multiple resistant Salmonella typhimurium DT104 infection of cattle in Great Britain. Veterinary Record 139, 557558.
Frössling, J, Uggla, A and Björkman, C 2005. Prevalence and transmission of Neospora caninum within infected Swedish dairy herds. Veterinary Parasitology 128, 209218.
George, D and Mallery, P 2008. SPSS for windows step by step: A simple guide and reference, 15.0 (update. Allyn and Bacon, incorporated).
Hayes, M, Ashe, S, Collins, DM, Power, S, Kenny, K, Sheahan, M, O’Hagan, G and More, SJ 2009. An evaluation of Irish cattle herds with inconclusive serological evidence of bovine brucellosis. Irish Veterinary Journal 62, 182190.
Houe, H 1999. Epidemiological features and economic importance of bovine virus diarrhoea virus. Veterinary Microbiology 64, 89107.
Leonard, N, Mee, JF, Snijders, S and Mackie, D 2004. Prevalence of antibodies to Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo in bulk tank milk from unvaccinated Irish dairy herds. Irish Veterinary Journal 57, 226231.
Lesschen, JP, van der Berg, M, Westhoek, HJ, Witzke, HP and Oenema, O 2011. Greenhouse gas emission profiles of European livestock sectors. Animal Feed Science and Technology 166–167, 1628.
Levett, PN 2001. Leptospirosis. Clinical Microbiology Reviews 14, 296326.
Maunsell, F and Donovan, GA 2008. Biosecurity and risk management for dairy replacements. Veterinary Clinics of North America; Food Animal Practice 24, 155190.
McElroy, S 2012. Bulk milk disease screening-A useful tool in assessing infectious status in Irish dairy herds. Veterinary Ireland Journal 2, 308311.
Mee, JF, Geraghty, T, O’Neill, R and More, SJ 2012. Bioexclusion of diseases from dairy and beef farms: risks of introducing infectious agents and risk reduction. The Veterinary Journal 194, 1p.
Nöremark, M, Håkansson, N, Sternberg-Lewerin, S, Lindberg, A and Jonsson, A 2011. Network analysis of cattle and pig movements in Sweden: measures relevant for disease control and risk based surveillance. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 98, 7890.
O’Doherty, E, Sayers, R and O’Grady, L 2013. Temporal trends in bulk milk antibodies to Salmonella, Neospora caninum, and Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo in Irish dairy herds. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 109, 343348.
Ould-Amrouche, A, Klein, F, Osdoit, C, Mohamed, HO, Touratier, A, Sanaa, M and Mialot, JP 1999. Estimation of Neospora caninum seroprevalence in dairy cattle from Normandy France. Veterinary Research 30, 531538.
Patton, J 2012. The economics of recycled cows and extended lactations. Paper presented at the Teagasc National Liquid Milk Event 2012, Wexford, Ireland, 17 October 2012. Retrieved January 29, 2013, from
Ryan, EG, Leonard, N, O’Grady, L, Doherty, ML and More, SJ 2012. Herd level risk factors associated with Leptospira hardjo seroprevalence in beef/suckler herds in the Republic of Ireland. Irish Veterinary Journal 65, 6.
Sayers, RG, Sayers, GP, Mee, JF, Bermingham, ML and Dillon, P 2013. Implementing biosecurity measures on dairy farms in Ireland. Veterinary Journal 197, 259267.
Schäres, G, Barwald, A, Staubach, C, Ziller, M, Klos, D, Schroder, R, Labohm, R, Drager, K, Fasen, W, Hess, RG and Conraths, FJ 2004. Potential risk factors for Neospora caninum infection in Germany are not under the control of farmers. Parasitology 129, 301309.
Vaessen, MA, Veling, J, Frankena, K, Graat, EAM and Klunder, T 1998. Risk factors for salmonella dublin infection on dairy farms. Veterinary Quarterly 20, 9799.
Van Schaik, G, Schukken, YH, Nielen, M, Dijkhuizen, AA, Barkema, HW and Benedictus, G 2002. Probability of and risk factors for introduction of infectious diseases into Dutch SPF dairy farms: a cohort study. Preventive Veterinary Medicine 54, 279289.
Villarroel, A, Dargatz, DA, Lane, VM, McCluskey, BJ and Salman, BD 2007. Suggested outline of potential critical control points for biosecurity and biocontainment on large dairy farms. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 230, 808919.
Visser, SC, Veling, J, Dijhuizen, AA and Huirne, RBM 1997. Economic losses due to Salmonella Dublin in dairy cattle. In Proceedings of the Dutch/Danish symposium on animal health and economics (ed. AR Kristensen), pp. 143151. Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Department of Animal Science and Animal Health, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Wedderkoop, A, Stroger, U and Lind, P 2001. Salmonella dublin in Danish dairy herds: frequency of change to positive serological status in bulk tank milk ELISA in relation to serostatus of neighbouring farms. Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica 42, 295302.
Williams, BM 1975. Environmental considerations in Salmonellosis. Veterinary Record 96, 318321.


Management practices as risk factors for the presence of bulk milk antibodies to Salmonella, Neospora caninum and Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo in Irish dairy herds

  • E. O’ Doherty (a1) (a2), D. P. Berry (a1), L. O’ Grady (a2) and R. Sayers (a1)


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed