Objective—To develop a quantitative PCR assay for detection of Borrelia burgdorferi DNA in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues; compare results of this assay with results of immunohistochemical staining of tissues from seropositive dogs; and determine whether B burgdorferi DNA could be detected in renal tissues from dogs with presumptive Lyme nephritis.
Sample Population—Archived tissue samples from 58 dogs.
Procedures—A quantitative PCR assay was performed on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections from the dogs. Results were compared with results of immunohistochemical staining, B burgdorferi serostatus, clinical signs, and necropsy findings.
Results—38 dogs were classified as having positive or equivocal results for Lyme borreliosis, and 20 were classified as having negative results on the basis of clinical signs, serologic findings, and pathologic abnormalities. Borrelia burgdorferi DNA was amplified from tissue samples from only 4 (7%) dogs, all of which had been classified as having positive or equivocal results for Lyme borreliosis and had signs of presumptive Lyme nephritis. Results of PCR assays of renal tissue were positive for only 1 dog, and there was no agreement between results of immunohistochemical staining (ie, detection of B burgdorferi antigen) and results of the PCR assay (ie, detection of B burgdorferi DNA) for renal tissues.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that detection of B burgdorferi DNA in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues is feasible, but that intact B burgdorferi DNA is rarely found in tissues from naturally infected dogs, even tissues from dogs with presumptive Lyme borreliosis. Further, findings support the contention that Lyme nephritis may be a sterile, immune complex disease.
Objective—To determine clinical signs, diagnostic findings, tissue tremetone concentrations, and clinical outcome or postmortem findings in horses evaluated for acute severe nonexertional rhabdomyolysis initially attributed to white snakeroot toxicosis.
Design—Retrospective case series.
Procedures—Records of the University of Minnesota Veterinary Medical Center or Diagnostic Laboratory were searched from 1998 to 2005. Inclusion criteria included serum creatine kinase (CK) activity > 45,000 U/L, severe nonexertional myonecrosis of proximal postural muscles at necropsy, or signs of weakness without palpably firm muscles on physical examination. Vitamin E and selenium concentrations were measured in 6 horses; tremetone concentration was measured in 7.
Results—Clinical signs occurred during unfavorable weather conditions. Clinical signs of generalized weakness (n = 11 horses), muscle fasciculations (10), lethargy (6), and prolonged recumbency (4) were common. Serum CK activity ranged from 46,487 to 959,499 U/L (reference range, 82 to 449 U/L), and aspartate transaminase activity was > 1,500 U/L (reference range, 162 to 316 U/L). Two horses survived with aggressive antioxidant and fluid treatment. Postmortem examination revealed acute severe myonecrosis with lipid accumulation primarily in neck, proximal forelimb and hind limb, intercostal, and diaphragm muscles. Histopathologic signs of myocardial necrosis were detected in 7 horses. Vitamin E and selenium concentrations were within reference limits. Tremetone was not detected in liver or urine samples.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Cases of rhabdomyolysis have been attributed to white snakeroot toxicosis; however, tremetone was not detected in any horses. Similarities exist between cases of seasonal pasture myopathy and cases of atypical myopathy in Europe.
Objective—To assess ophthalmologic features and ocular lesions in red-tailed hawks and Cooper's hawks naturally infected with West Nile virus (WNV).
Procedures—All hawks underwent complete ophthalmic examinations including slit lamp biomicroscopy and binocular indirect ophthalmoscopy. Eleven hawks were euthanized because of a grave prognosis; complete necropsies were performed. Eyes, brain, heart, and kidneys were processed for histologic and immunohistochemical examinations. Pooled tissue homogenates and aqueous humor samples were assessed for WNV nucleic acid via PCR assay, and anti-WNV antibody titers in aqueous humor and plasma were determined.
Results—All birds had similar funduscopic abnormalities including exudative chorioretinal lesions and chorioretinal scarring in a geographic or linear pattern. Eleven birds were euthanized, and 2 birds were released. Plasma from both released hawks and plasma and aqueous humor of all euthanized hawks that were evaluated contained anti-WNV antibodies. Except for 1 hawk, all euthanized hawks had WNV-associated disease (determined via detection of WNV antigen or nucleic acid in at least 1 organ). Histopathologic ocular abnormalities, most commonly pectenitis, were detected in all euthanized birds; several birds had segmental choroiditis, often with corresponding segmental retinal atrophy. West Nile virus antigen was detected in the retinas of 9 of the euthanized birds. In 2 hawks, WNV antigen was detected in the retina only.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that funduscopically detectable chorioretinal lesions appear to be associated with WNV disease in hawks. Detection of ocular lesions may aid in antemortem or postmortem diagnosis of this condition.