Histologic and immunochemical study of the pathogenesis of heartwater (Cowdria ruminantium infection) in goats and mice

Corrie C. Brown From the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Box 848, Greenport, NY 11944.

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 DVM, PhD
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Anthony J. Skowronek From the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Box 848, Greenport, NY 11944.

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SUMMARY

Eleven adult goats and 32 adult outbred mice were inoculated iv with Cowdria ruminantium-infected blood (Kwanyanga isolate), monitored clinically, then serially euthanatized. Predominant clinical signs of disease in goats were depression, head tremors, seizures, and dyspnea. In mice, dyspnea and depression were the only clinical signs of disease noticed. Tissues were examined histologically and immunohistochemically for C ruminantium colonies or antigen. In goats, C ruminantium was detected only in endothelial cells of the brain, even though gross and microscopic lesions were confined to the thorax. In mice, C ruminantium was detected only in endothelial cells of the heart and lungs.

SUMMARY

Eleven adult goats and 32 adult outbred mice were inoculated iv with Cowdria ruminantium-infected blood (Kwanyanga isolate), monitored clinically, then serially euthanatized. Predominant clinical signs of disease in goats were depression, head tremors, seizures, and dyspnea. In mice, dyspnea and depression were the only clinical signs of disease noticed. Tissues were examined histologically and immunohistochemically for C ruminantium colonies or antigen. In goats, C ruminantium was detected only in endothelial cells of the brain, even though gross and microscopic lesions were confined to the thorax. In mice, C ruminantium was detected only in endothelial cells of the heart and lungs.

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