Objective—To estimate the sensitivity (Se) and specificity (Sp) for an enhanced direct-fecal PCR procedure, bacterial culture of feces (BCF), and a serum ELISA for detecting Mycobacterium avium subsp paratuberculosis (MAP) infection in adult dairy cattle.
Sample Population—Fecal and serum samples were collected from 669 adult cattle randomly selected from a 4,000-cow dairy herd known to contain animals infected with MAP.
Procedures—Serum samples were evaluated for MAP-specific antibodies via ELISA. Fecal samples were evaluated by BCF and enhanced PCR methods (both gel-based [GB]-PCR and quantitative real-time [qRT]-PCR assays). Fecal samples also were pooled (5:1) and then subjected to GB-PCR assay. Bayesian statistical methods were used to estimate Se and Sp for each diagnostic test without knowledge concerning true MAP infection status.
Results—Adjusting for Se conditional dependence between serum ELISA and BCR, overall Se and Sp were estimated at 33.7% and 95.9%, 51.3% and 99.0%, and 32.2% and 100% for serum ELISA, qRT-PCR, and BCF, respectively.The GB-PCR assay yielded positive results for 38.3% of the pools known to contain feces from at least 1 cow that had positive GBPCR results.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Estimated Se values for the serum ELISA and BCF were slightly lower than those reported elsewhere. The enhanced qRT-PCR method offered relative improvements in Se of 52% and 59% over serum ELISA and microbial culture, respectively. Pooling of fecal samples and testing with the GB-PCR assay are not recommended. Additional studies with qRT-PCR and fecal pools are required.
Objective—To determine whether mares are a clinically important source of Rhodococcus equi for their foals.
Sample Population—171 mares and 171 foals from a farm in Kentucky (evaluated during 2004 and 2005).
Procedures—At 4 time points (2 before and 2 after parturition), the total concentration of R equi and concentration of virulent R equi were determined in fecal specimens from mares by use of quantitative bacteriologic culture and a colony immunoblot technique, respectively. These concentrations for mares of foals that developed R equi–associated pneumonia and for mares with unaffected foals were compared. Data for each year were analyzed separately.
Results—R equi–associated pneumonia developed in 53 of 171 (31%) foals. Fecal shedding of virulent R equi was detected in at least 1 time point for every mare; bacteriologic culture results were positive for 62 of 171 (36%) mares at all time points. However, compared with dams of unaffected foals, fecal concentrations of total or virulent R equi in dams of foals with R equi–associated pneumonia were not significantly different.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results indicate that dams of foals with R equi–associated pneumonia did not shed more R equi in feces than dams of unaffected foals; therefore, R equi infection in foals was not associated with comparatively greater fecal shedding by their dams. However, detection of virulent R equi in the feces of all mares during at least 1 time point suggests that mares can be an important source of R equi for the surrounding environment.
Objective—To estimate the prevalence of paratuberculosis in purebred beef cattle in Texas and identify risk factors for seropositivity.
Animals—4,579 purebred cattle from 115 beef ranches in Texas.
Procedure—Blood was collected, and serum was analyzed for antibodies with a commercial ELISA. Fecal samples were collected and frozen at −80°C until results of the ELISA were obtained, and feces from seropositive cattle were submitted for mycobacterial culture. Herd owners completed a survey form on management factors.
Results—Results of the ELISA were positive for 137 of the 4,579 (3.0%) cattle, and 50 of the 115 (43.8%) herds had at least 1 seropositive animal. Results of mycobacterial culture were positive for 10 of the 137 (7.3%) seropositive cattle, and 9 of the 50 (18%)
seropositive herds had at least 1 animal for which results of mycobacterial culture were positive. Risk factors for seropositivity included water source, use of dairy-type nurse cows, previous clinical signs of paratuberculosis, species of cattle (Bos taurus vs Bos indicus), and location.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that seroprevalence of paratuberculosis among purebred beef cattle in Texas may be greater than seroprevalence among beef cattle in the United States as a whole; however, this difference could be attributable to breed or regional differences in infection rates or interference by cross-reacting organisms. Veterinarians should be aware of risk factors for paratuberculosis as well as the possibility that unexpected serologic results may be found in some herds. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:773–778)
Objective—To compare the effectiveness of 3 treatment regimens for small ruminants with caseous lymphadenitis.
Design—Randomized clinical trial.
Animals—44 client-owned sheep and goats.
Procedures—Aspirates were obtained from 48 lesions of 44 enrolled animals and submitted for bacterial culture. Animals were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups. Treatment for group A (n = 15 lesions) consisted of opening, draining, and flushing the lesions and SC administration of procaine penicillin G. Treatment for group B (n = 15 lesions) consisted of closed-system lavage and intralesional administration of tulathromycin. Treatment for group C (n = 18 lesions) consisted of closed-system lavage and SC administration of tulathromycin. All animals were reexamined approximately 1 month after treatment, unless treatment failure was detected prior to that time.
Results—43 animals with lesions had positive results (Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis) for bacterial culture. Proportions of lesions that had resolution of infection by 1 month after treatment did not differ significantly among the treatment groups (group A, 13/14 [92.9%]; 95% confidence interval [CI], 69.5% to 99.6%; group B, 10/12 [83.3%]; 95% CI, 54.9% to 97.1%; and group C, 14/17 [82.4%]; 95% CI, 59.1% to 95.3%).
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Acceptable alternatives to opening, draining, and flushing of lesions may exist for treatment of sheep and goats with caseous lymphadenitis. Use of tulathromycin and penicillin in this study constituted extralabel drug use, which would require extended withholding times before milk or meat of treated sheep and goats can be sold for human consumption.
Objective—To compare isolates of Rhodococcus
equi on the basis of geographic source and virulence
status by use of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis
Sample Population—290 isolates of R equi(218 virulent
isolates from foals and 72 avirulent isolates from
feces, soil, and respiratory tract samples) obtained
between 1985 and 2000 from horses and horse farms
from 4 countries.
Procedure—DNA from isolates was digested with
the restriction enzyme AseI and tested by use of
PFGE. Products were analyzed for similarities in banding
patterns by use of dendrograms. A similarity
matrix was constructed for isolates, and the matrix
was tested for nonrandom distributions of similarity
values with respect to groupings of interest.
Results—There was little grouping of isolates on the
basis of country, virulence status, or region within
Texas. Isolates of R equi were generally < 80% similar,
as determined by use of PFGE. Isolates from the
same farm generally were rarely of the same strain.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Considerable
chromosomal variability exists among isolates of R
equi obtained from the same farm, sites within Texas,
or among countries from various continents. Only
rarely will it be possible to link infections to a given
site or region on the basis of analysis of isolates by
use of PFGE of chromosomal DNA. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:153–161)