Eperythrozoon wenyonii infection in dairy cattle

John A. Smith From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (J. A. Smith, J. L. Smith, Salman), Pathology (Thrall, Ching), Microbiology (Collins), and Environmental Health (Salman), and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, (Collins), College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Mary Anna Thrall From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (J. A. Smith, J. L. Smith, Salman), Pathology (Thrall, Ching), Microbiology (Collins), and Environmental Health (Salman), and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, (Collins), College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Joni L. Smith From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (J. A. Smith, J. L. Smith, Salman), Pathology (Thrall, Ching), Microbiology (Collins), and Environmental Health (Salman), and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, (Collins), College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Mowafak D. Salman From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (J. A. Smith, J. L. Smith, Salman), Pathology (Thrall, Ching), Microbiology (Collins), and Environmental Health (Salman), and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, (Collins), College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Shelley V. Ching From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (J. A. Smith, J. L. Smith, Salman), Pathology (Thrall, Ching), Microbiology (Collins), and Environmental Health (Salman), and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, (Collins), College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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James K Collins From the Departments of Clinical Sciences (J. A. Smith, J. L. Smith, Salman), Pathology (Thrall, Ching), Microbiology (Collins), and Environmental Health (Salman), and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, (Collins), College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 80523.

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Summary

Approximately 10 of 100 young heifers that had recently delivered their first calf—members of a large Colorado dairy herd—had a syndrome of swollen teats and distal portions of the hind limbs, prefemoral lymphadenopathy, transient fever, rough coat, decreased milk production, and subsequent weight loss and reproductive inefficiency. Acute clinical signs of disease were associated with large numbers of Eperythrozoon wenyonii seen on blood smears, and resolution of signs correlated with reduction or disappearance of the parasite. Other known causes of peripheral edema could not be documented. The parasite was transmitted to 4 of 7 nonlactating dairy cows destined to be culled and a splenectomized calf via IV inoculation of blood from parasitemic heifers, but clinical signs of infection were not induced.

Summary

Approximately 10 of 100 young heifers that had recently delivered their first calf—members of a large Colorado dairy herd—had a syndrome of swollen teats and distal portions of the hind limbs, prefemoral lymphadenopathy, transient fever, rough coat, decreased milk production, and subsequent weight loss and reproductive inefficiency. Acute clinical signs of disease were associated with large numbers of Eperythrozoon wenyonii seen on blood smears, and resolution of signs correlated with reduction or disappearance of the parasite. Other known causes of peripheral edema could not be documented. The parasite was transmitted to 4 of 7 nonlactating dairy cows destined to be culled and a splenectomized calf via IV inoculation of blood from parasitemic heifers, but clinical signs of infection were not induced.

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