If control of Neospora caninum infection is technically feasible does it make economic sense?

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Journal Article
Veterinary Parasitology, 2006, 142 pp. 23 - 34
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Recent work on Neospora caninum, a protozoan parasite that causes abortion in dairy cattle has focused on a number of different control options. Modelling has suggested the most effective options for control but the present paper argues that the most effective option might not necessarily be optimal from an economic point of view. Decision trees, using published quantitative data, were contruscted to choose between four different control strategies. The costs of these interventions, such as 'test and cull', therapeutic treatment with a pharmaceutical, vaccination or "doing nothing" were compared, and modelled, in the first instacne on the New Zealand and Australian dairy situation. It is argued however, that the relative costs in toehr countries might be similar and that only teh availability of a registered vaccine will change the decision tree outcomes, as does the within-herd prevalence of N. caninum infection. To "do nothing" emerged as the optimal economic choice for n. caninum infections/abortions up to a within-herd prevalence of 18%, when viewed over a 1-year horizon, or 21% when costs were calculated over a 5 year horizon.
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