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January 19, 1957


JAMA. 1957;163(3):180-182. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.82970380001007

Contagious abortion in cattle has been of serious concern to breeders of livestock for centuries. In 1897, Bang1 reported that he had recovered the etiological agent, which was later designated as Brucella abortus. McFadyean and Stockman2 confirmed this observation in England shortly thereafter, but they pointed out that not all instances of contagious abortion could be ascribed to Brucella organisms. They also incriminated a species of Vibrio known as Vibrio fetus as a cause of bovine abortion, and especially of abortion in sheep. In a series of investigations instituted later by Smith3 in the United States, V. fetus was also found to be a common cause of abortion in cattle. Smith4 described the characteristics of the micro-organisms in detail. In the United States, vibriosis in cattle is now looked upon as a common cause of abortion and may possibly equal, if not exceed, brucellosis in economic