Objective—To evaluate experimental induction of recurrent airway obstruction (RAO) with inhaled fungal spores, lipopolysaccharide, and silica microspheres in horses.
Animals—7 horses with and 3 horses without a history of RAO.
Procedures—RAO-susceptible horses ranged in age from 17 to approximately 30 years, and control horses ranged in age from 7 to approximately 15 years. Pure mold cultures were derived from repeated culture of hay and identified via gene amplification and sequencing. Pulmonary function testing and bronchoalveolar lavage were performed before and after nebulization with a suspension of spores derived from 3 fungi, lipopolysaccharide, and 1-μm silica microspheres in all horses. This was followed by a 4-month washout period and a further pulmonary function test followed by saline (0.9% NaCl) solution challenge and bronchoalveolar lavage.
Results—Lichtheimia corymbifera, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Eurotium amstelodami were consistently identified in cultures of moldy hay. Nebulization with fungal spores, lipopolysaccharide, and microspheres induced significant increases in pleural pressure in RAO-susceptible but not control horses. Airway neutrophilia developed in both groups of horses with exposure to challenge material but more severely in RAO-susceptible horses.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicated that inhalation of fungal spores in combination with lipopolysaccharide and silica microspheres can induce disease exacerbation in susceptible horses and may thus be a useful model for future standardized studies of RAO in horses.
Objective—To determine the prevalence of Mycoplasma bovis infection in the lungs of cattle at various times after arrival at a feedlot, to measure the relationship between clinical disease status and the concentration and genotype of M bovis within the lungs, and to investigate changes in the genotype of M bovis over time.
Sample—Bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from 328 healthy or pneumonic beef cattle and 20 M bovis isolates obtained from postmortem samples.
Procedures—The concentration of M bovis in BALF was determined via real-time PCR assays, and M bovis isolates from BALF were genotyped via amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis.
Results—Prevalence of M bovis in BALF was 1 of 60 (1.7%) at arrival to a feedlot and 26 of 36 (72.2%) and 36 of 42 (85.7%) at ≤ 15 days and 55 days after arrival, respectively. Neither the concentration nor the AFLP type of M bovis in BALF was correlated with clinical disease status. The M bovis AFLP type differed between early and later sampling periods in 14 of 17 cattle.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The findings implied spread of M bovis among calves and suggested that host factors and copathogens may determine disease outcomes in infected calves. Chronic pulmonary infection with M bovis may represent a dynamic situation of bacterial clearance and reinfection with strains of different AFLP type, rather than continuous infection with a single clone. These findings impact our understanding of why cattle with chronic pneumonia and polyarthritis syndrome inadequately respond to antimicrobial treatment.