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Case finalisation & ongoing biosecurity considerations

Pathology Report

A variety of tests (e.g. culture, PCR, antibody detection) on a range of sample types (e.g. dam serum and vaginal swabs, foetal serum and abomasal contents, placenta) are used to diagnose the cause of an abortion outbreak. Testing is typically done by the State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory. The Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Biosecurity Sciences Laboratory (BSL) would be the laboratory most likely to support the workup of this case. Visit the website if you want to see more about specific tests that can be done and how they are interpreted.

For this case based on your sample submission, you have now received the following results:

Gross pathology 

Foetus: multifocal, small, pale hepatic nodules (granulomatous hepatitis).

Placenta: severe, diffuse placentitis.

Histopathology results

Foetus: mild, granulomatous hepatitis.

Placenta: severe, diffuse, neutrophilic and necrotising placentitis with intracellular microorganisms.


Leptospirosis: Microscopic agglutination test for leptospirosis. Serum was collected from three does who recently aborted. The results are:.

Lepto serovar Zanoni Australis Hardjo Tarassovi Pomona
Serum 29 Negative Negative 1:100 Negative 1:100
Serum 34 Negative Negative 1:150 Negative 1:150
Serum 116 Negative Negative 1:150 Negative 1:250

The goats have been vaccinated for Leptospira interrogans serovar Pomona and Leptospira borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo, therefore the titre seen here is most likely due the vaccination antibodies.

Coxiellosis: Serum was collected from three does who recently aborted. The results for IFA IgG titre are:

Serum 29 1:512
Serum 34 Negative
Serum 116 1:256

The positive serology test indicates a previous or current infection. However, it does not indicate whether the infected doe is shedding the organisms. Shedding can also occur in the absence of a measurable antibody titre in up to 20% of infected animals.  It is useful for screening herds but interpretation on individual level is difficult.

Molecular results

Sample: Placenta and foetal tissue and vaginal secretions

  • Coxiella burnetii : PCR POSITIVE

Tissue: vaginal swab

  • Coxiella burnetii: PCR POSITIVE
  • Chlamydia: PCR negative