Transmission of Brucella abortus to female calves younger than three months of age, diagnosed by the card and radial immunodiffusion tests in two dairy herds in the state of Queretaro, Mexico

Main Article Content

Iván Carrisoza Urbina
Mario Medina Cruz
Erika Gabriela Palomares Reséndiz
Efrén Díaz Aparicio


Transmission of Brucella abortus to female calves from positive and negative cows was determined in the frst week and third month of age. Two herds were used. Herd 1 consisted of 670 milking cows with a brucellosis seroprevalence of 21.6% (145/670). In this herd, groups of positive and negative cows were formed using the card and radial immunodifussion (RID) tests with native hapten. Blood samples were taken from female calves on two occasions: at one week of age and before animals were vaccinated against B. abortus. Of the 22 calves from the positive group, two (9.1%) were positive in the frst week of life, but no more positive calves were found at three months of age. In the group of female calves born to negative cows, there were no positive animals at one week of age, but four out of 22 were found positive with the RID test at three months of age. A prevalence rate of 13.6% of positive calves for B. abortus in the third month of age was calculated. Twenty milk samples were obtained from this herd and B. abortus was isolated from all of them (100%). Using PCR, the strains found were confrmed to be feld strains and not vaccine strains. Herd 2 consisted of 1800 milking cows, participating in the National Campaign against Animal Brucellosis, that had a seroprevalence of 1.94% (35/1800) detected from January to December 2009. In this herd, 1 170 records were analyzed using the results of the card and rivanol tests obtained from female calves younger than three months of age, of which 24 (2.1%) were found positive for B. abortus from January 2009 to June 2010. It is concluded that the diagnosis of brucellosis is necessary in female calves born in dairies to cows that have the disease, in order to prevent positive animals from remaining in the herd. Vaccine-induced antibodies will avert disease detection, but brucellosis will later manifest itself through abortions during frst pregnancies, thus perpetuating the disease in dairies.

Keywords: Brucella abortus, female calves, radial immunodiffusion

Article Details


1. Flores CR. Bases científicas en el uso de vacunas contra la brucelosis. Memorias del 4º Curso internacional de medicina productiva en bovinos lecheros; 2010 abril 22-24; Juriquilla (Querétaro) México (DF): Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2010:85-90.

2. OIE, College of Veterinary Medicine Iowa State University-The Center Food Security & Public Health 2009. Brucellosis. Serial online: año mes] [Cited: 2011 February 10]. Available from: http://www.cfsph.iastate. edu/Factsheets/es/brucelosis.pdf.

3. Herrera E, Palomares G, Díaz AE. Milk production increase in a dairy farm under a six-year brucellosis control program. Ann N Y Acad Sci 2008; 1149:296 –299.

4. López MA, Pérez MAE. Seroepidemiology of brucellosis in Mexico. Salud Pública de México 1992; 34:230-240.

5. Radostits OM, Blood DC, Gay CC. Veterinary Medicine. 10th ed. London: Balliere Tindall, 2007.

6. Enright FM, Nielsen K, Duncan JR. The pathogenesis and pathobiology of Brucella infection in domestic animals. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press, 1990.

7. Crawford RP, Adams LG, Ficht TA, Templeton JW, Williams JD. Effects of stage of gestation and breed on bovine responses to vaccination with Brucella abortus strain 19. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1991; 199:887–891.

8. Cheville NF, Mccullough DR, Paulson LR. Brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Area. Washington, DC: National Research Council; 1998:25.

9. Olsen S, Tatum F. Bovine brucellosis. Vet Clin Food Anim Pract 2010; 26:15-27

10. Bickett WD, Trevino I. Biological risk management, an overview. 2010. Memorias del 4º Curso internacional de medicina productiva en bovinos lecheros; 2010 abril 22-24; Juriquilla (Querétaro) México (DF): Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, 2010:5-13.

11. Olsen SC, Thoen CO, Cheville NF, Gyles CL, Thoen CO, Prescott JF et al. Brucella. Pathogenesis of bacterial infections of animals. Ames (IA): Blackwell Publishing, 2004.

12. Roop RM, Gee JM, Robertson GT, Richardson JM, NG WL, Winkler ME. Brucella stationary-phase gene expression and virulence. Annu Rev Microbiol 2003; 57:57–76.

13. Bustamante SJ, Salazar HF, Díaz AE, Manzano CC, Pérez GR, Hernández AL. Estudio bacteriológico y serológico de brucelosis en vacas revacunadas con dosis reducida de cepa 19 de Brucella abortus. Téc Pec Méx. 2000; 38:35-42.

14. Aparicio BA, Díaz AE, Hernández AL, Pérez GR, Alfonseca SE, Suarez GF. Serological and bacteriological evaluation of a bovine herd infected with brucellosis and revaccinated with a reduced dose of Brucella abortus strain 19. Téc Pec Méx 2003; 41(2):129-140.

15. DOF. “Campaña Nacional contra la Brucelosis en los Animales” Norma Oficial Mexicana NOM-041- ZOO-1995. Diario Oficial de la Federación 20 agosto 1996.

16. Díaz AE, Hernández AL, Valero EG. Diagnóstico de brucelosis animal. México: Instituto Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales, Agrícolas y Pecuarias, 2001.

17. Alton GG, Jones LM, Angus RD. Techniques for the brucellosis laboratory. Paris: Institute National de la recherché e agronomique; 1988.

18. Sambrook J, Fritsch EF, Maniatis T. Molecular cloning. Laboratory manual. 2nd ed. New York: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, 1989.

19. Sangari FJ, Garcia-Lobo JM, Aguero J. The Brucella abortus vaccine strain B19 carries a deletion in the erythritol catabolic genes. FEMS Microbiol Lett 1994b Sep 1;121(3):337-42.

20. Vemulapalli R, Mcquiston JR, Schurig GG, Sriranganathan N, Halling SM, Boyle SM. Identification of an IS711 element interrupting the wboA gene of Brucella abortus vaccine strain RB51 and a PCR assay to distinguish strain RB51 from other Brucella species and strains. Clin Diagn Lab Immunol1999 Sep;6(5):760-4.

PLUMX Metrics