Repeated testing by use of culture and PCR assay to detect Tritrichomonas foetus carrier bulls in an infected Nebraska herd

Jeff D. Ondrak, James E. Keen, Gary P. Rupp, James A. Kennedy, D. Scott McVey, William D. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare methods for identification of bulls that were carriers for Tritrichomonas foetus during an outbreak on a large beef ranch and determine whether the percentage of nonpregnant cows was associated with the percentage of bulls infected with T foetus. Design: Epidemiological study. Animals: 121 Angus and Hereford bulls (1.5 to 6 years old) and 2,960 Angus-cross cows (2.5 to 14 years old) managed as 5 herds on a Nebraska beef ranch. Procedures: 3 sequential preputial scrapings collected from the bulls at 12- to 27-day intervals were cultured, and cultures were examined for liVet foetus daily for 5 days. On day 5, aliquots of the culture fluid were tested by means of T foetus-specific gel and real-time PCR assays. Cows were tested for pregnancy by means of rectal palpation. Results: For 361 preputial scrapings obtained from 121 bulls, results of culture and gel PCR assay were in close agreement. The real-time PCR assay had similar sensitivity to culture and the gel PCR assay but generated more false-positive results. Twenty-four of the 121 (19.8%) bulls were identifed as infected with T foetus. For the 5 ranch herds, there was a positive linear correlation between percentage of infected bulls (range, 0% to 40%) and percentage of nonpregnant cows (range, 8.3% to 19.2%). Conclusions and Clinical Relevance: Results suggested that a combination of culture and the gel PCR assay performed on 3 sequential preputial scrapings was the best method for identifying bulls that were carriers for T foetus during this herd outbreak.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1068-1073
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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