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To characterize, on a molecular basis, variable regions of the SzP proteins of the Moore and Bryans serovars of Streptococcus zooepidemicus and specificity of opsonic responses.

Sample Population

14 Moore and Bryans serovars of S zooepidemicus.


Using polymerase chain reaction analysis and primers from the 5’ and 3’ sequences of the prototype gene SzPW60, the SzP genes of each Moore and Bryans serovar were sequenced and translated, then the amino acid sequences were compared.


Comparison of the amino acid sequences revealed 2 variations at the N terminus; a hypervariable (HV) region from residue 106 to 166, approximately; and proline-glutamic acid-proline-lysine repeats in the carboxy terminus that ranged in number from 7 to 12. Five distinct motifs, HV 1 to 5, which varied independently of the N termini were found in the internal HV region. All serovars were opsonized by antiserum to the prototype SzPW60 protein, indicating that opsonogenic epitopes are on the conserved regions of the protein.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance

Variant motifs may be valuable in epizootiologic and pathogenesis studies of S zooepidemicus infections of the respiratory tract of young horses and in determining whether there are populations of S zooepidemicus unique to specific animal hosts. It is also clear from the opsonic responses to SzP that at least a portion of the protective responses are probably not serovar specific. (Am J Vet Res 1998;59:1129-1133)

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine whether streptococcal pneumonia is caused by strains of Streptococcus zooepidemicus similar to those obtained from the tonsils of healthy horses.

Sample Population—5 tonsils from healthy horses, 8 tracheal washes and 6 lung specimens from foals with pneumonia, and 5 nasopharyngeal swab specimens from donkeys with acute bronchopneumonia.

Procedure—Variable M-like protectively immunogenic SzP proteins of 5 isolates of S zooepidemicus from each tonsil and clinical specimen were compared, using immunoblots. The SzP gene of 13 isolates representative of various SzP immunoblot phenotypes from 1 healthy horse and 9 horses and donkeys with pneumonia were sequenced and compared. Cell-associated hyaluronic acid concentration and resistance to phagocytosis of some isolates were measured.

Results—Tonsils of each healthy horse were colonized by several SzP phenotypes similar to those of foals or donkeys with pneumonia. In contrast, multiple isolates from animals with pneumonia had the same SzP phenotype, indicating infection by a single strain or clone. Analysis of the SzP sequence confirmed that differences in immunoblot phenotype were associated with sequence differences and that several SzP genotypes were in healthy horses and animals with pneumonia. Isolates with high concentrations of cell-associated hyaluronic acid were more resistant to phagocytosis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—An SzP-specific immunoblot is a useful, sensitive measure of diversity among strains of S zooepidemicus. Single strains with SzP phenotypes similar to those found in tonsils of healthy horses cause pneumonia. Because of the diversity of SzP phenotype and genotype among isolates from animals with pneumonia, SzP phenotype is not an important determinant of invasiveness or epizootic capabilities. (Am J Vet Res 2000;61:162–166)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To determine the serum concentrations and sedative effects of fentanyl after transdermal administration at 3 dosages in llamas.

Animals—9 healthy adult female llamas (mean age, 8 ± 3 years; mean weight, 150 ± 18 kg).

Procedure—Llamas were allocated to 1 of 3 groups (3 llamas/group). Fentanyl patches (each providing transdermal delivery of 75 µg of fentanyl/h) were placed on shaved areas of the antebrachium of all llamas. In group 1, llamas were treated with 1 patch (anticipated fentanyl dosage, 75 µg/h). In group 2, llamas were treated with 2 patches (anticipated fentanyl dosage, 150 µg/h). In group 3, llamas were treated with 4 patches (anticipated fentanyl dosage, 300 µg/h). For each llama, the degree of sedation was assessed by use of a subjective scoring system and a blood sample was collected for determination of serum fentanyl concentration at 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, and 72 hours after patch placement.

Results—Following the placement of 4 patches, mean ± SD serum fentanyl concentration in group 3 llamas reached 0.3 ± 0.08 ng/mL within 12 hours. This concentration was sustained for 72 hours. In group 2, application of 2 patches provided inconsistent results; in group 1, application of 1 patch rarely provided measurable serum fentanyl concentrations. No llamas became sedated at any time.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that application of four 75 µg/h fentanyl patches provides consistent, sustained serum fentanyl concentrations without sedation in llamas. However, the serum concentration of fentanyl that provides analgesia in llamas is not known. (Am J Vet Res 2005;66:907–909)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To identify a strain of contagious ecthyma virus from goats that possesses the appropriate characteristics for an effective vaccine for goats.

Animals—25 goat kids used for vaccine development and 100 goat kids used for evaluation of vaccine efficacy.

Procedures—5 strains of contagious ecthyma virus were tested in a vaccination-challenge study to identify the best strain to be the seed strain for a contagious ecthyma vaccine. The vaccine derived from the chosen viral stain was tested at 2 concentrations for efficacy in a vaccination-challenge study.

Results—2 of 5 viral strains induced moderate to severe scabs following infection, and 3 viral strains protected the goats from wild-type virus challenge following vaccination. Viral strain 47CE was selected as the seed source for the production of a contagious ecthyma vaccine because of the larger vaccine-to-challenge scab formation ratio. Vaccine 47CE protected all goat kids (48/48) following challenge with the wild-type contagious ecthyma virus; all goat kids (32/32) in the control group had scab formation following challenge with the wild-type contagious ecthyma virus, which indicated no protection following administration of vaccine diluent.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A vaccine containing a caprine strain of contagious ecthyma virus used in goats appeared to provide the characteristics needed for an effective vaccine, including good scab production and protection from wild-type infection. This vaccine may potentially provide better protection for goats from contagious ecthyma than currently available vaccines labeled for sheep.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research



A 6-month-old sexually intact male Clumber Spaniel was evaluated because of small stature, recurrent dermatitis of the head, and progressive pigmentary hepatopathy.


Clinicopathologic findings included nonanemic hypochromic microcytosis, hypocholesterolemia, persistently high serum liver enzyme activities, and anicteric hyperbilirubinemia. Histologic examination of liver biopsy specimens collected when the dog was 6 months and 2 years of age revealed expansion and bridging of portal tracts, occasional centrilobular parenchymal collapse, scattered lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates, and dark red to brown pigment within large aggregates of macrophages, engorged bile canaliculi, and hepatocytes. The pigment failed to stain for the presence of iron, copper, bile, and glycoprotein and, when examined with polarized microscopy, emitted a yellow to green birefringence with occasional Maltese cross configurations. Further analyses confirmed marked porphyrin accumulation in blood, urine, feces, and liver tissue; protoporphyrin accumulation in RBCs and liver tissue; and a signature porphyrin profile and fluorescence peak consistent with erythropoietic protoporphyria. Advanced protoporphyric hepatopathy was diagnosed. The chronic dermatopathy was presumed to reflect protoporphyric photosensitivity.


Management was focused on avoiding conditions known to induce heme synthesis and catabolism, administrating ursodeoxycholic acid and antioxidants S-adenosylmethionine and vitamin E, and avoiding sunlight exposure. At follow-up at 4 years of age, the dog was stable without evidence of jaundice but with probable persistent erythropoietic protoporphyria–related solar dermatopathy.


Clinical and histologic features of congenital erythropoietic protoporphyria and resultant protoporphyric hepatopathy, the diagnosis, and the successful management of a dog with these conditions over 4 years were described. Veterinarians should consider porphyric syndromes when unusual pigmentary hepatopathies are encountered.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To evaluate N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS)-biotin labeling of equine RBCs and determine posttransfusion survival of autologous equine RBCs stored in citrate phosphate dextrose adenine-1 (CPDA-1) for 0, 1, 14, and 28 days.

Animals—13 healthy adult Thoroughbreds.

Procedures—Serial dilutions of biotin and streptavidin-phycoerythrin (PE) were evaluated in vitro in blood collected from 3 horses. One horse was used to determine RBC distribution and recovery. Twelve horses were allocated to 4 groups for in vivo experiments in which blood was collected into CPDA-1. Blood was labeled with biotin and reinfused or stored at 4°C for 1, 14, or 28 days prior to labeling with NHS-biotin and reinfusion. Posttransfusion blood samples were collected 15 minutes and 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 14, 21, 28, and 35 days after reinfusion. Biotin-labeled RBCs were detected via flow cytometry by use of streptavidin-PE. Posttransfusion lifespan of RBCs and RBC half-life were determined.

Results—Optimal biotin concentration was 0.04 pg of biotin/RBC, and the optimal streptavidin-PE ratio was 1.2 μg of streptavidin-PE/1 × 106 RBCs. Posttransfusion lifespan of autologous RBCs was 99, 89, 66, and 59 days after storage for 0, 1, 14, and 28 days, respectively. Storage did not result in significant alterations in RBC lifespan. Mean posttransfusion RBC half-life was 50, 45, 33, and 29 days for 0, 1, 14, and 28 days of storage, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Biotin can be used to label equine RBCs for RBC survival studies. Posttransfusion survival of equine autologous RBCs was greater than previously reported.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To evaluate sensitivity of microbial culture of pooled fecal samples for detection of Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (MAP) in large dairy herds and assess the use of the method for estimation of MAP prevalence.

Animals—1,740 lactating cows from 29 dairy herds in California.

Procedure—Serum from each cow was tested by use of a commercial ELISA kit. Individual fecal samples were cultured and used to create pooled fecal samples (10 randomly selected fecal samples/pool; 6 pooled samples/herd). Sensitivity of MAP detection was compared between Herrold's egg yolk (HEY) agar and a new liquid culture method. Bayesian methods were used to estimate true prevalence of MAP-infected cows and herd sensitivity.

Results—Estimated sensitivity for pooled fecal samples among all herds was 0.69 (25 culture-positive pools/36 pools that were MAP positive). Sensitivity increased as the number of culture-positive samples in a pool increased. The HEY agar method detected more infected cows than the liquid culture method but had lower sensitivity for pooled fecal samples. Prevalence of MAP-infected cows was estimated to be 4% (95% probability interval, 2% to 6%) on the basis of culture of pooled fecal samples. Herd-level sensitivity estimate ranged from 90% to 100% and was dependent on prevalence in the population and the sensitivity for culture of pooled fecal samples.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Use of pooled fecal samples from 10 cows was a cost-effective tool for herd screening and may provide a good estimate of the percentage of MAP-infected cows in dairy herds with a low prevalence of MAP. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:1061–1070)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research