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Use of a polymerase chain reaction assay to detect infection with Eperythrozoon wenyoni in cattle

Jennifer M. VandervoortDepartment of Small Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL 61801.

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Candace BourneDepartment of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.

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Robert L. CarsonDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.

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Allen M. HeathDepartment of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.

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Mary K. BoudreauxDepartments of Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849.

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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay could be used to detect Eperythrozoon wenyoniin the blood of cattle.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—95 cattle from various herds in Alabama and Georgia and 96 bulls enrolled in Auburn University's Alabama Beef Cattle Improvement Association Bull Test program.

Procedure—Blood samples were collected by means of venipuncture of the median caudal vein and submitted for a CBC and PCR assay. Blood smears were made immediately after blood collection and examined by means of light microscopy.

Results—Three of 95 cattle from herds in Alabama and Georgia and 5 of 96 bulls enrolled in the Bull Test program had positive PCR assay results. Organisms were seen in blood smears from only 5 of these 8 animals. Organisms were not seen in blood smears from any animals for which results of the PCR assay were negative.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that a PCR assay may be an effective method for detecting E wenyoni infection in cattle and that the PCR assay may be a more sensitive test than evaluation of blood smears. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001; 219:1432–1434)

Abstract

Objective—To determine whether a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay could be used to detect Eperythrozoon wenyoniin the blood of cattle.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—95 cattle from various herds in Alabama and Georgia and 96 bulls enrolled in Auburn University's Alabama Beef Cattle Improvement Association Bull Test program.

Procedure—Blood samples were collected by means of venipuncture of the median caudal vein and submitted for a CBC and PCR assay. Blood smears were made immediately after blood collection and examined by means of light microscopy.

Results—Three of 95 cattle from herds in Alabama and Georgia and 5 of 96 bulls enrolled in the Bull Test program had positive PCR assay results. Organisms were seen in blood smears from only 5 of these 8 animals. Organisms were not seen in blood smears from any animals for which results of the PCR assay were negative.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that a PCR assay may be an effective method for detecting E wenyoni infection in cattle and that the PCR assay may be a more sensitive test than evaluation of blood smears. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001; 219:1432–1434)