Brucella ovis excretion in semen of seronegative, clinically normal breeding rams.J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1990 Jan 15; 196(2):313-5.JA
A commercial flock of Suffolk and Suffolk-cross breeding rams was monitored for 5 years in an effort to control epididymitis caused by Brucella ovis. Scrotal palpation, semen evaluations, and vaccination against B ovis were used the first 3 years. Serologic evaluation (complement fixation and ELISA) was added the fourth year, and bacteriologic culturing was added to the program the fifth year. Semen culturing in the fifth year revealed 9 (37.5%) of 24 rams were actively excreting B ovis; 6 of those 9 rams were seronegative. Neither semen quality nor the presence of WBC in the semen were dependable criteria to detect these seronegative carriers. In spite of the high percentage of B ovis excretors, few clinical signs of epididymitis were detected in the flock during the last 3 years of the study. It was hypothesized that vaccination protected rams against the clinical disease but not the carrier state. The importance of culturing semen for assessment of a control program was emphasized.