Kandarp Patel

Doctor of Philosophy, (Veterinary Science)
Study Completed: 2017
College of Sciences


Thesis Title
Epidemiological investigation into abortion in farmed red deer in New Zealand

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Mr Patel investigated industry-wide unexplained sub-optimum reproductive performance (70% in first calvers and 80% in adults) associated with fetal wastage in farmed red deer. Seventy-six thousand hinds were scanned for pregnancy at two occasions on 85 deer farms. The mean mid-term abortion rate of 3.9% (range: 0.4-19.1%) in rising-2-year-old herds was significantly higher than 2.2% (range: 0.6-9.1%) in adult herds. Screening of blood and tissue samples collected during pregnancy scans suggested that Toxoplasma gondii may be causing abortions with no evidence of association between other pathogens (including Leptospira, bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV), cervid herpesvirus-1 (CvHV1) and Neospora) and abortion. There was gamma herpesviral and Neospora DNA evidence in fetal and uterine tissues requiring further investigation for its association with abortion. Analysis of farm and management risk factors suggested that optimum nutrition, both in terms of feedstuffs and trace minerals was associated with higher pregnancy and lower abortion rates.

Professor Peter Wilson
Dr Geoffrey Asher
Professor Cord Heuer
Associate Professor Laryssa Howe