Mycotic abortion in cattle



Placentas and foetuses from 1107 bovine abortions were examined and a fungal infection was diagnosed in 131 instances. Fungi seen in silver impregnated sections of tissues could be placed into 3 categories designated aspergillus, phycomycete and atypical. Culture indicated that the first 2 of these categories were due to Aspergillus sp and Mortierella wolfii respectively. The infections in the atypical category are probably also due to Aspergillus sp. Gross or microscopic examination or culture of the placenta were valuable diagnostically but examination of the foetus was seldom of value as infection in most instances did not involve foetal tissues. Questionnaires indicated that many M. wolfii abortions were associated with the feeding of poorly prepared or stored grass silage. As the majority of cattle are fed hay or silage, no association could be demonstrated between Aspergillus sp abortion and these feeds. Fertility following fungal abortion was apparently unimpaired.