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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

SUMMARY

Interstitial and bronchointerstitial pulmonary patterns are commonly observed in thoracic radiographs of Thoroughbreds. Prominent interstitial and bronchointerstitial pulmonary patterns are observed in clinically normal horses, and in horses with respiratory tract disease. Until recently, the relevance of these pulmonary patterns was not known. Previous studies indicated that bronchiolitis, bronchiolar epithelial hyperplasia, epithelial metaplasia, and bronchial arteriolar recruitment correlated strongly with the prominence of the interstitial and bronchointerstitial pulmonary patterns observed radiographically. We examined the content and distribution of collagen in the lungs of 7 clinically normal Thoroughbreds in race training. After standardized fixation, lung tissue was treated with a compound that selectively stains collagen. Standard morphometric techniques were used to determine the volume density of parenchymal tissue and parenchymal airspace, mean linear intercept (estimate of alveolar size), alveolar surface area-to-volume ratio, percentage of parenchyma composed of collagen, percentage of airway wall composed of collagen, and airway wall thickness. These values were compared with radiographic and histopathologic scores obtained from the same horses. The volume density of parenchymal tissue and small airway wall thickness correlated strongly with the prominence of the bronchial and bronchointerstitial pulmonary patterns observed radiographically. Small airway thickness was also highly correlated with the perceived prominence of the interstitial pulmonary patterns observed radiographically, and morphometric estimates of parenchymal tissue and parenchymal collagen. There were also strong correlations between the volume density of parenchymal tissue, the percentage of parenchymal collagen, peribronchiolar mononuclear cell infiltrates, and bronchiolar mucosal plication estimates. In horses with more prominent bronchiolar mucosal plication, there was a strong direct relation to the observed prominence of peribronchiolar and submucosal blood vessels, and the bronchial and bronchointerstitial patterns observed radiographically. Horses with prominent peribronchiolar mononuclear cell infiltrates also had more obvious interstitial and bronchointerstitial pulmonary patterns observed radiographically. There also was a direct correlation between the percentage of parenchymal collagen and the observed prominence of peribronchiolar and submucosal blood vessels in these horses. In all horses, there was a strong negative correlation between the estimated average alveolar size and the observed severity of the vascular and bronchial patterns observed radiographically.

Four horses with the greatest estimated airway wall and interalveolar collagen had more prominent interstitial and bronchointerstitial densities and histopathologic evidence of bronchiolitis. These horses had evidence of epithelial basement membrane disruption, with disorganized collagen fibers running between the adventitial layer and the epithelial basement membrane. Amounts of collagen were greater in the adventitia and interalveolar septa, with the fibers appearing larger and more coarse and disorganized. In horses with the greatest percentage of interalveolar septal collagen, accumulations of collagen were larger in the interalveolar septal tips. These findings suggest that horses with prominent interstitial and bronchointerstitial pulmonary patterns radiographically have undergone previous episodes of pulmonary injury, which has resulted in deposition of increased amounts of collagen in interalveolar septa and airway walls.

Free access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

OBJECTIVE To describe use of whole-genome sequencing (WGS) and evaluate the apparent sensitivity and specificity of antemortem tuberculosis tests during investigation of an unusual outbreak of Mycobacterium bovis infection in a Michigan dairy herd.

DESIGN Bovine tuberculosis (bTB) outbreak investigation.

ANIMALS Cattle, cats, dog, and wildlife.

PROCEDURES All cattle in the index dairy herd were screened for bTB with the caudal fold test (CFT), and cattle ≥ 6 months old were also screened with a γ-interferon (γIFN) assay. The index herd was depopulated along with all barn cats and a dog that were fed unpasteurized milk from the herd. Select isolates from M bovis–infected animals from the index herd and other bTB-affected herds underwent WGS. Wildlife around all affected premises was examined for bTB.

RESULTS No evidence of bTB was found in any wildlife examined. Within the index herd, 53 of 451 (11.8%) cattle and 12 of 21 (57%) cats were confirmed to be infected with M bovis. Prevalence of M bovis–infected cattle was greatest among 4- to 7-month-old calves (16/49 [33%]) followed by adult cows (36/203 [18%]). The apparent sensitivity and specificity were 86.8% and 92.7% for the CFT and 80.4% and 96.5% for the γIFN assay when results for those tests were interpreted separately and 96.1% and 91.7% when results were interpreted in parallel. Results of WGS revealed that M bovis–infected barn cats and cattle from the index herd and 6 beef operations were infected with the same strain of M bovis. Of the 6 bTB-affected beef operations identified during the investigation, 3 were linked to the index herd only by WGS results; there was no record of movement of livestock or waste milk from the index herd to those operations.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Whole-genome sequencing enhanced the epidemiological investigation and should be used in all disease investigations. Performing the CFT and γIFN assay in parallel improved the antemortem ability to detect M bovis–infected animals. Contact with M bovis–infected cattle and contaminated milk were major risk factors for transmission of bTB within and between herds of this outbreak.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association