Specimen: Fetal stomach contents
Container: Sterile container
Collection protocol: Aspirate fetal stomach contents
Special handling/shipping requirements: Samples are to be transported and stored chilled. Do not freeze samples.
General information about the disease: Mid to late term abortions, perinatal death and weak lambs. Aborted fetuses are characterised by liver lesions that are grossly and microscopically identical to those produced in Campylobacter infections.
Comparison with other related tests: PCR will not detect all Helicobacter spp. but currently detects strains causing disease in the South Island. Culture of the organism is difficult. PCR is a useful primary diagnostic test, or to confirm a histopathological diagnosis.