Comparison of techniques for diagnosis of proliferative enteritis of swine

Gary F. Jones From the Departments of Veterinary PathoBiology (Jones, Rose, Ward, Murtaugh) and Clinical and Population Sciences (Davies), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108.

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Peter R. Davies From the Departments of Veterinary PathoBiology (Jones, Rose, Ward, Murtaugh) and Clinical and Population Sciences (Davies), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108.

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Rebecca Rose From the Departments of Veterinary PathoBiology (Jones, Rose, Ward, Murtaugh) and Clinical and Population Sciences (Davies), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108.

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Gilbert E. Ward From the Departments of Veterinary PathoBiology (Jones, Rose, Ward, Murtaugh) and Clinical and Population Sciences (Davies), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108.

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Michael P. Murtaugh From the Departments of Veterinary PathoBiology (Jones, Rose, Ward, Murtaugh) and Clinical and Population Sciences (Davies), College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108.

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Summary

In an abattoir-based case-control study, histologic, and macroscopic examination of porcine intestines at slaughter and 2 molecular assays were compared for use as diagnostic tests of proliferative enteritis (pe). Fecal samples and intestinal specimens were collected from pigs with grossly thick ileum and from clinically normal pigs at slaughter. Tissue specimens were fixed in neutral buffered 10% formalin, and sectioned. Sections stained with H&E were examined for proliferative lesions by a pathologist unaware of the group to which the pig had been assigned on the basis of results of gross examination. Adjacent tissue sections, stained with Warthin-Starry (silver) stain, were examined for presence of the intracellular bacterium of pe, ileal symbiont (is)-intracellularis, in the enterocytes of the intestinal crypts by the senior author, who was unaware either of the group to which the pig had been assigned or diagnosis by the pathologist. Bacterial DNA was extracted from the fecal samples and assayed by dot-blot hybridization and polymerase chain reaction (pcr) for presence of is-intracellularis dna, without knowledge of results of the other examinations. The pcr assay for is-intracellularis was a specific and sensitive diagnostic test for pe, and dot-blot hybridization was sensitive, but was less specific. Macroscopic examination of intestines at slaughter was a sensitive, but not specific, test.

Association between is-intracellularis and proliferative lesions was statistically examined in the same study. There was a highly significant (P = 0.0078) association between presence of naturally acquired proliferative lesions and intracellular infection induced by is-intracellularis. The odds ratio of ≥ 14 and estimated attributable fraction of ≥ 92% indicate that is-intracellularis may be a necessary cause of pe.

Summary

In an abattoir-based case-control study, histologic, and macroscopic examination of porcine intestines at slaughter and 2 molecular assays were compared for use as diagnostic tests of proliferative enteritis (pe). Fecal samples and intestinal specimens were collected from pigs with grossly thick ileum and from clinically normal pigs at slaughter. Tissue specimens were fixed in neutral buffered 10% formalin, and sectioned. Sections stained with H&E were examined for proliferative lesions by a pathologist unaware of the group to which the pig had been assigned on the basis of results of gross examination. Adjacent tissue sections, stained with Warthin-Starry (silver) stain, were examined for presence of the intracellular bacterium of pe, ileal symbiont (is)-intracellularis, in the enterocytes of the intestinal crypts by the senior author, who was unaware either of the group to which the pig had been assigned or diagnosis by the pathologist. Bacterial DNA was extracted from the fecal samples and assayed by dot-blot hybridization and polymerase chain reaction (pcr) for presence of is-intracellularis dna, without knowledge of results of the other examinations. The pcr assay for is-intracellularis was a specific and sensitive diagnostic test for pe, and dot-blot hybridization was sensitive, but was less specific. Macroscopic examination of intestines at slaughter was a sensitive, but not specific, test.

Association between is-intracellularis and proliferative lesions was statistically examined in the same study. There was a highly significant (P = 0.0078) association between presence of naturally acquired proliferative lesions and intracellular infection induced by is-intracellularis. The odds ratio of ≥ 14 and estimated attributable fraction of ≥ 92% indicate that is-intracellularis may be a necessary cause of pe.

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