Diagnosis of swine reproductive failure syndrome by veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the United States from 1987 to 1990
A mail survey was conducted to determined the frequency of epidemics of swine reproductive failure syndrome (SRFS) (based on reports by accredited veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the US between 1987 and 1990), their geographic distribution, and tests used to study the syndrome. Twenty-seven accredited diagnostic laboratories in 17 states, nine diagnostic specialties, and 73 veterinary diagnosticians were included in the target population. The responce rates for the states, the diagnostic laboratories, the diagnostic specialtiesm, and the diagnoticians were 100%, 96%, 100%, and 88%, respectively. Epidemics of SRFS had been diagnosed in 12 (70%) of the 17 states and by 16 (61%) of the 26 responding diagnostic laboratories. The estimate of the minimum number of herds in which SRFS had been diagnosed nationwide was 160. The rank order (highest to lowest) of the diagnostic tests that had been used to search for an etiologic agent of SRFS was bacteriology, serology, virology, toxicology, histology, nutritional, and electron microscopy. The results of the study suggest that standardization of the diagnostic protocols may reduce the potential for misclassification of herds due to diagnostic test bias, reduce investigator prejudices and the selective incrimination of putative etiologic agents, increase the comparability of results among laboratories, and increase the efficiency of identifying the true etiologic agent(s) of new animal diseases.
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