Objective—To elucidate the ecology of Listeria monocytogenes on dairy cattle farms by determining the prevalence of the organism in various samples.
Sample Population—Dairy cattle operations in central New York State.
Procedures—A repeated cross-sectional study design was used. Various samples were obtained from cattle (feces, composite udder milk, and udders), their environment (silage, feed bunks, water troughs, and floor bedding), inline milk filters, and bulk tank milk from 50 dairy farms. Samples were tested for L monocytogenes by use of a PCR assay with 2 steps of bacterial enrichment. Data were analyzed with mixed-effect logistic regression to control for the potential clustering of L monocytogenes on particular farms.
Results—L monocytogenes was detected in composite milk, udder swab samples, and fecal samples at prevalences of 13%, 19%, and 43%, respectively. There was no significant clustering of the pathogen by farm. Listeria monocytogenes was more common in samples obtained from cattle and the environment during winter and summer versus the fall. The prevalence of L monocytogenes was twice as high in samples obtained from feed bunks, water troughs, and bedding, compared with that in samples obtained from silage (65%, 66%, 55%, and 30%, respectively).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—L monocytogenes was more prevalent in samples obtained from dairy cattle and their environment than in milk samples. Strategies to control the pathogen in dairy operations should focus on cow hygiene and sanitary milk harvesting on the farm.
Objective—To evaluate clinical, microbiologic, and pathologic outcomes in mice after inoculation with 4 equine-origin Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis strains.
Animals—15 C3H/HeJ mice.
Procedures—In a preliminary study, the optimum route of inoculation was determined. In the main study, mice were allocated to 4 treatment groups (3 mice/group). One slow- or rapid-growing equine-origin C pseudotuberculosis strain was inoculated ID into the mice of each treatment group.
Results—All 4 strains had distinct tropism for the liver. Histologic lesions associated with rapid-growing strains included focally extensive unencapsulated areas of acute, massive coagulative necrosis of hepatocytes with intralesional colonies of bacteria and variable portal hepatitis characterized by accumulations of mononuclear and polymorphonuclear inflammatory cells. In contrast, the livers of mice inoculated with slow-growing strains had multiple discrete, randomly distributed foci of hepatocellular necrosis and neutrophilic hepatitis that were considerably less severe than the lesions in the mice inoculated with the rapid-growing strains. Significantly more bacterial colonies were recovered from the organs of mice inoculated with rapid-growing than with slow-growing strains of bacteria. Bacteria were isolated from the liver, spleen, lungs, and mesenteric lymph nodes of mice inoculated with rapid-growing strains and from the liver and lymph nodes of mice inoculated with slow-growing strains.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Study of host-bacteria interactions in hosts that are naturally infected with C pseudotuberculosis is difficult because of underlying genetic variability among animals, expense, and requirements for multiple replicates and control animals. The C3H/HeJ mice may provide a useful means for studying virulence mechanisms of C pseudotuberculosis.
Objective—To determine whether genogroup 1 porcine torque teno virus (g1-TTV) can potentiate clinical disease associated with porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2).
Sample population—33 gnotobiotic baby pigs.
Procedures—Pigs were allocated into 7 groups: group A, 5 uninoculated control pigs from 3 litters; group B, 4 pigs oronasally inoculated with PCV2 alone; group C, 4 pigs inoculated IP with first-passage g1-TTV alone; group D, 4 pigs inoculated IP with fourth-passage g1-TTV alone; group E, 6 pigs inoculated IP with first-passage g1-TTV and then oronasally inoculated with PCV2 7 days later; group F, 6 pigs inoculated IP with fourth-passage g1-TTV and then inoculated oronasally with PCV2 7 days later; and group G, 4 pigs inoculated oro-nasally with PCV2 and then inoculated IP with fourth-passage g1-TTV 7 days later.
Results—6 of 12 pigs inoculated with g1-TTV prior to PCV2 developed acute onset of postweaning multisystemic wasting syndrome (PMWS). None of the pigs inoculated with g1-TTV alone or PCV2 alone or that were challenge exposed to g1-TTV after establishment of infection with PCV2 developed clinical illness. Uninoculated control pigs remained healthy.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These data implicated g1-TTV as another viral infection that facilitates PCV2-induced PMWS. This raises the possibility that torque teno viruses in swine may contribute to disease expression currently associated with only a single infectious agent.
Objective—To determine whether porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome (PDNS) could be experimentally induced in gnotobiotic swine.
Sample Population—Plasma samples from 27 sows and 20 conventional weaned piglets were obtained, and 30 gnotobiotic pigs were used in experiments.
Procedures—3 experiments were conducted. Groups of 3-day-old gnotobiotic pigs were inoculated with pooled plasma samples obtained from healthy feeder pigs in a herd that was in the initial phases of an outbreak of respiratory disease; gross and histologic lesions of PDNS were detected in the inoculated pigs. In a second experiment, 2- and 3-day-old gnotobiotic pigs were inoculated with porcine reproductive respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) and with PRRSV-negative tissue homogenate containing genogroup 1 torque teno virus (g1-TTV). Lesions of PDNS were detected.
Results—Pigs inoculated with pooled plasma or the combination of tissue-culture–origin PRRSV and g1-TTV tissue homogenate developed systemic hemostatic defects, bilaterally symmetric cutaneous hemorrhages, generalized edema, icterus, bilaterally symmetric renal cortical hemorrhage, dermal vasculitis with hemorrhage, and interstitial pneumonia consistent with a clinical and pathologic diagnosis of PDNS. The PRRSV RNAs and g1-TTV DNAs were detected in plasma; all pigs seroconverted to PRRSV, and all had negative results for porcine circovirus type 2 when tested by use of PCR assays.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These data suggested that PDNS is a manifestation of disseminated intravascular coagulation in swine. For the experimental conditions reported here, combined infection with g1-TTV and PRRSV was implicated in the genesis of these lesions.
Objective—To determine whether commercial Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae bacterins sold for use in swine contain porcine torque teno virus (TTV).
Sample Population—22 commercially available M hyopneumoniae bacterins.
Procedures—Direct and nested PCR assays for genogroup-specific TTV DNAs were performed on serials of M hyopneumoniae bacterins by use of published and custom-designed primer pairs at 3 laboratories in North America and Europe.
Results—Of the 22 bacterins tested by use of direct and nested PCR assays, 7 of 9 from the United States, 2 of 5 from Canada, and 4 of 8 from Europe contained genogroup 1– and genogroup 2–TTV DNAs. In some bacterins, the TTV DNAs were readily detected by use of direct PCR assays.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis of these data indicated that many of the commercially available M hyopneumoniae bacterins were contaminated with TTV DNA. It is possible that some of these bacterins could inadvertently transmit porcine TTV infection to TTV-naïve swine.
Objective—To determine whether porcine genogroup 1 torque teno virus (g1-TTV) can infect and cause disease in gnotobiotic swine.
Sample Population—20 conventional baby pigs and 46 gnotobiotic baby pigs.
Procedures—Porcine g1-TTV was transmitted from conventional swine to gnotobiotic pigs via pooled leukocyte-rich plasmas (n = 18) that had positive results for g1-TTV DNA. Bone marrow–liver homogenates that had positive results for torque teno virus (TTV) were used in 4 serial passages in gnotobiotic pigs (2 pigs/passage). A pathogenesis experiment was conducted with in vivo passages of g1-TTV in various groups of gnotobiotic pigs.
Results—All g1-TTV inoculated pigs had no clinical signs but developed interstitial pneumonia, transient thymic atrophy, membranous glomerulonephropathy, and modest lymphocytic to histiocytic infiltrates in the liver after inoculation with the TTV-containing tissue homogenate; these changes were not detected in uninoculated control pigs or pigs injected with tissue homogenate devoid of TTV DNAs. In situ hybridization was used to identify g1-TTV DNAs in bone marrow mononuclear cells.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis of these data revealed that porcine g1-TTV was readily transmitted to TTV-naïve swine and that infection was associated with characteristic pathologic changes in gnotobiotic pigs inoculated with g1-TTV. Thus, g1-TTV could be an unrecognized pathogenic viral infectious agent of swine. This indicated a directly associated induction of lesions attributable to TTV infection in swine for a virus of the genus Anellovirus.
Objective—To inoculate white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) during the sixth or seventh week of gestation with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) and observe for signs of reproductive tract disease during a 182-day period.
Animals—10 pregnant white-tailed deer (8 seronegative and 2 seropositive [control deer] for BVDV).
Procedures—Deer were inoculated with 1 of 2 deer-derived BVDV strains (RO3-20663 or RO3-24272). Serum anti-BVDV antibody titers were determined prior to and 21 or 35 days after inoculation. Virus isolation (VI) procedures were performed on tissues from fetuses and does that died and on blood samples collected from live fawns. Ear notch specimens obtained from live fawns were assessed by use of BVDV antigen-capture ELISA (ACE).
Results—Both RO3-20663–inoculated seropositive deer gave birth to apparently normal fawns. Among the RO3-24272–inoculated seronegative deer, 1 died, and 1 aborted and 1 resorbed their fetuses; among the RO3-20663–inoculated seronegative deer, 3 died, 1 aborted its fetus, and 1 gave birth to 2 fawns that were likely persistently infected. On the basis of VI and ACE results, those 2 fawns were positive for BVDV; both had no detectable neutralizing anti-BVDV antibodies in serum.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Reproductive tract disease that developed in pregnant white-tailed deer following BVDV inoculation was similar to that which develops in BVDV-exposed cattle. Methods developed for BVDV detection in cattle (VI, immunohistochemical evaluations, and ACE) can be applied in assessments of white-tailed deer. Fawns from does that had serum anti-BVDV antibodies prior to inoculation were protected against BVDV infection in utero.
Objective—To determine whether expression of feline coronavirus (FCoV) 7b protein, as indicated by the presence of specific serum antibodies, consistently correlated with occurrence of feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) in cats.
Sample Population—95 serum samples submitted for various diagnostic assays and 20 samples from specific-pathogen–free cats tested as negative control samples.
Procedures—The 7b gene from a virulent strain of FCoV was cloned into a protein expression vector. The resultant recombinant protein was produced and used in antibody detection assays via western blot analysis of serum samples. Results were compared with those of an immunofluorescence assay (IFA) for FCoV-specific antibody and correlated with health status.
Results—Healthy IFA-seronegative cats were seronegative for antibodies against the 7b protein. Some healthy cats with detectable FCoV-specific antibodies as determined via IFA were seronegative for antibodies against the 7b protein. Serum from cats with FIP had antibodies against the 7b protein, including cats with negative results via conventional IFA. However, some healthy cats, as well as cats with conditions other than FIP that were seropositive to FCoV via IFA, were also seropositive for the 7b protein.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Expression of the 7b protein, as indicated by detection of antibodies against the protein, was found in most FCoV-infected cats. Seropositivity for this protein was not specific for the FCoV virulent biotype or a diagnosis of FIP.
Objective—To determine whether sequelae of infection differed among single versus double infection with Anaplasma phagocytophilum or Anaplasma marginale, with and without tick salivary extract, in cattle.
Animals—Eighteen 13-month old steers.
Procedures—Treatment groups of 3 cattle each included A marginale inoculated ID followed on day 35 by A phagocytophilum without tick saliva, A phagocytophilum followed on day 10 by A marginale without tick saliva, A marginale followed on day 35 by A phagocytophilum with tick saliva, A phagocytophilum followed on day 10 by A marginale with tick saliva, tissue culture control injection, and tick saliva control injection. Infection was monitored via clinical observations, CBC, serologic testing, and PCR analysis of blood and tissues.
Results—Infected cattle had significantly reduced weight gain. Anemia occurred 25 to 32 days after A marginale infection, which was attenuated by tick saliva. Parasitism was greater if cattle had not previously been inoculated with A phagocytophilum. Nine of the 12 treated cattle had positive results of PCR analysis for A phagocytophilum from at least 1 blood sample. Five tissue samples had positive results of PCR analysis for A phagocytophilum; PCR results for A marginale were positive in spleen, lung, lymph node, heart, and ear skin of infected cattle.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated an important biological interaction between A marginale and A phagocytophilum infection as well as with tick saliva in disease kinetics and severity in cattle, which may be important for interpretation of diagnostic tests and management of disease in areas where both pathogens occur.
Objective—To measure associations between health and productivity in cow-calf beef herds and persistent infection with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), antibodies against BVDV, or antibodies against infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) virus in calves.
Animals—1,782 calves from 61 beef herds.
Procedures—Calf serum samples were analyzed at weaning for antibodies against type 1 and type 2 BVDV and IBR virus. Skin biopsy specimens from 5,704 weaned calves were tested immunohistochemically to identify persistently infected (PI) calves. Herd production records and individual calf treatment and weaning weight records were collected.
Results—There was no association between the proportion of calves with antibodies against BVDV or IBR virus and herd prevalence of abortion, stillbirth, calf death, or nonpregnancy. Calf death risk was higher in herds in which a PI calf was detected, and PI calves were more likely to be treated and typically weighed substantially less than herdmates at weaning. Calves with high antibody titers suggesting exposure to BVDV typically weighed less than calves that had no evidence of exposure.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—BVDV infection, as indicated by the presence of PI calves and serologic evidence of infection in weaned calves, appeared to have the most substantial effect on productivity because of higher calf death risk and treatment risk and lower calf weaning weight.