[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We used a mouse model of pathogenic (Staphylococcus aureus) and non-pathogenic (teat sealing) mammary inflammation to investigate mRNA expression of several inflammatory cytokines and acute phase proteins (APP) in mammary tissue and liver, and the appearance of some of these factors in plasma and milk. The expression levels of IL1β and TNFα were markedly up-regulated in Staph. aureus-inoculated mammary tissue at 72 h, whilst IL6 was up-regulated to a lesser extent in a way which was not confined to the inoculated glands. APP expression was up-regulated at 48 and 72 h in both Staph. aureus-inoculated and teat-sealed mammary glands. These differences between cytokine and APP expression provide additional support for the contention that APPs are produced within the mammary tissue itself during inflammation, rather than in associated immune cells. We propose that measurement of cytokines and APP in combination might provide a tool for diagnostic discrimination between mastitis caused by pathogenic invasion and milk accumulation, and hence allow for better targeting of antibiotic therapy. In comparison with mammary expression, expression of cytokines in liver tissue was up-regulated to a similar or lesser extent, whilst expression of APP was up-regulated to a much greater extent. The first appearance of increased cytokine and APP concentrations in plasma and of milk amyloid A (MAA) in milk occurred in advance of the measurable up-regulation of expression, hence their origin cannot be stated with certainty.
Journal of Dairy Research 09/2014; · 1.39 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The knowledge of systemic inflammation and local cytokine expression in porcine endocarditis models is limited, though it could provide valuable information about the pathogenesis and comparability to human endocarditis. Analyses of bacteriology and hematology were performed on blood samples from pigs with non-bacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE, n = 11), Staphylococcus aureus infective endocarditis (IE, n = 2), animals with S. aureus sepsis without endocarditis (n = 2) and controls (n = 2). Furthermore, immunohistochemistry was used to examine the local expression of IL-1β and IL-8. Bacterial blood cultures were continuously positive in IE pigs from inoculation to euthanasia, and negative in all other pigs at all times. The total white blood cell counts and total neutrophil counts were massively elevated in pigs with IE. Local IL-1β and IL-8 expression in IE pigs were moderate to high, and high, respectively. In addition, slight local expression of IL-1β and IL-8 was present in some NBTE pigs. In the IE model, both the systemic inflammatory response and the high local expression of IL-8 were comparable to the human disease. Furthermore, the results indicate IL-1β and IL-8 as important contributors in the endocarditis pathogenesis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-bacterial thrombotic endocarditis (NBTE) and, in particular, infective endocarditis (IE), are serious and potentially life-threatening diseases. An increasingly important agent of human IE is Staphylococcus aureus, which typically causes an acute endocarditis with high mortality. The study aim was to evaluate the pig as a model for non-bacterial as well as S. aureus-associated endocarditis, as these models would have several advantages compared to other laboratory animal models.
Fourteen animals underwent surgery with placement of a plastic catheter in the left side of the heart. Six of the pigs did not receive a bacterial inoculation and were used to study the development of NBTE. The remaining eight pigs were inoculated intravenously once or twice with S. aureus, 10(5)-10(7) cfu/kg body weight. Two bacterial strains were used: S54F9 (porcine) and NCTC8325-4 (human). Clinical examination, echocardiography and bacterial blood cultures were used to diagnose and monitor the development of endocarditis. Animals were euthanized at between two and 15 days after catheter placement, and tissue samples were collected for bacteriology and histopathology.
Pigs inoculated with 10(7) cfu/kg of S. aureus strain S54F9 developed clinical, echocardiographic and pathologic signs of IE. All other pigs, except one, developed NBTE. Serial blood cultures withdrawn after inoculation were positive in animals with IE, and negative in all other animals.
S. aureus endocarditis was successfully induced in pigs with an indwelling cardiac catheter after intravenous inoculation of 10(7) cfu/kg of S. aureus strain S54F9. The model simulates typical pathological, clinical and diagnostic features seen in the human disease. Furthermore, NBTE was induced in all but one of the pigs without IE. Thus, the pig model can be used in future studies of the pathogenesis, diagnosis and therapy of NBTE and S. aureus endocarditis.
The Journal of heart valve disease 05/2013; 22(3):368-76. · 0.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT A new inoculation technique has been developed and applied in a porcine model of juvenile hematogenous osteomyelitis. Following the success of the model, we describe the inoculation technique in detail to enable its replication in future studies. The technique was based on an anatomical feature of the femoral artery that enables inoculation into the artery using a simple surgical procedure. Inoculation in the femoral artery is advantageous because the localization of lesions constitutes a discriminative model of the naturally occurring hematogenous osteomyelitis in long bones, usually involving femur and tibia in children. The procedure was performed under general anesthesia and consisted of five major steps: (1) Exposure of the right femoral artery, (2) retrograde catheterization, (3) inoculation of bacteria, (4) hemostasis of the arterial puncture site using compression, and (5) suturing of the wound in two layers.
Journal of Investigative Surgery 12/2012; · 1.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most common causes of intramammary infections in dairy cows at dry off. Reliable identification is important for disease management on herd level and for antimicrobial treatment of infected animals. Our objective was to evaluate the test characteristics of PathoProof TM Mastitis PCR Assay and bacteriological culture (BC) in diagnosing bovine intramammary infections caused by S. aureus at dry off at different PCR cycle threshold (Ct)-value cut-offs. METHODS: Sterile quarter samples and non-sterile composite samples from 140 animals in seven herds were collected in connection with the dairy herd improvement (DHI) milk recording. All quarter samples were analyzed using BC whereas all composite samples were analyzed with PathoProof TM Mastitis PCR Assay. Latent class analysis was used to estimate test properties for PCR and BC in the absence of a perfect reference test. The population was divided into two geographically divided subpopulations and the Hui-Walter 2-test 2-populations model applied to estimate Se, Sp for the two tests, and prevalence for the two subpopulations. RESULTS: The Se for PCR increased with increasing Ct-value cut-off, accompanied by a small decrease in Sp. For BC the Se decreased and Sp increased with increasing Ct-value cut-off. Most optimal test estimates for the real-time PCR assay were at a Ct-value cut-off of 37; 0.93 [95% posterior probability interval (PPI) 0.60-0.99] for Se and 0.95 [95% PPI 0.95-0.99] for Sp. At the same Ct-value cut-off, Se and Sp for BC were 0.83 [95% PPI 0.66-0.99] and 0.97 [95% PPI 0.91-0.99] respectively. Depending on the chosen PCR Ct-value cut-off, the prevalence in the subpopulations varied; the prevalence increased with increasing PCR Ct-value cut-offs. CONCLUSION: Neither BC nor real-time PCR is a perfect test in detecting IMI in dairy cows at dry off. The changes in sensitivity and prevalence at different Ct-value cut-offs for both PCR and BC may indicate a change in the underlying disease definition. At low PCR Ct-value cut-offs the underlying disease definition may be a truly/heavily infected cow, whereas at higher PCR Ct-value cut-offs the disease definition may be a S. aureus positive cow.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human sequential organ failure assessment (SOFA) scoring system is used worldwide in intensive care units for assessing the extent of organ dysfunction/failure in patients with severe sepsis. An increasing number of septic cases are caused by Gram-positive bacteria as Staphylococcus aureus. The aim of the current study was to apply the human SOFA parameters in an awake, porcine model of severe S. aureus sepsis. Five pigs were inoculated intravenously with S. aureus and two control animals were sham-inoculated. Extensive clinical monitoring and sequential blood sampling was obtained and analysed for SOFA parameters. Dysfunction/failure was observed in the respiratory, haemostatic and hepatic system of all infected animals, together with initial cardiovascular dysfunction. The pulmonary system was the first to fail clinically, which corresponds with similar human findings, whereas the liver was affected earlier in pigs compared to humans. The use of human SOFA parameters was valuable in identifying dysfunctional/failing organs and showed consistency between this porcine model and human severe sepsis. Applying SOFA parameters in this model increased the relevance for comparison to clinical methods of evaluating human severe sepsis. Changes in SOFA parameters may in future porcine studies serve as a target for monitoring the effect of therapeutic intervention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinically healthy reptiles may shed Salmonella and therefore act as a potential zoonotic threat. Most people in Northern European countries are rarely exposed to reptiles, but many zoos have education departments where children have direct contact with this group of animals. The objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence and serotype distribution of Salmonella among reptiles in the Education Department (n = 55) at Copenhagen Zoo and compare it to the Zoo's main reptile collection (n = 145) to evaluate the zoonotic risk. Salmonella was isolated from cloacal swabs by selective enrichment, and a single isolate from each positive sample was further identified by biochemical tests and serotyped. The overall prevalence was 35% (69/200) with significant difference between the Education Department (64%, 35/55) and the main reptile collection (23%, 34/145). A total of 28 serotypes were detected. Ten serotypes were isolated from more than one specimen and four from more than one species. Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Eastbourne was the predominant serotype (32%, 22/69) and was also the serotype isolated from most reptile species (n = 7). Transmission of serotypes from one department to another was very limited indicated by the serotype distribution. Despite the relative high prevalence observed among the reptiles in the Zoo's Education Department compared to the reptiles in the Zoo's main reptile collection, no Salmonella cases have been linked to the Zoo, and Salmonella ser. Eastbourne is very rarely isolated from humans in Denmark. Simple hygienic procedures such as hand washing which is consistently carried out following handling of reptiles at the Education Department may reduce the risk and therefore contribute to this low prevalence.
Zoonoses and Public Health 07/2012; · 2.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A porcine model was used to examine the potential of human and porcine Staphylococcus aureus isolates to induce haematogenously spread osteomyelitis. Pigs were inoculated in the right femoral artery with one of the following S. aureus strains: S54F9 (from a porcine lung abscess; n = 3 animals), NCTC-8325-4 (a laboratory strain of human origin; n = 3 animals) and UAMS-1 (a human osteomyelitis isolate; n = 3 animals). Two pigs were sham inoculated with saline. At 11 or 15 days post infection the animals were scanned by computed tomography before being killed and subjected to necropsy examination. Osteomyelitis lesions were present in the right hind limb of all pigs inoculated with strain S54F9 and in one pig inoculated with strain NCTC-8325-4. Microscopically, there was extensive loss of bone tissue with surrounding granulation tissue. Sequestrated bone trabeculae were intermingled with colonies of S. aureus as demonstrated immunohistochemically. By peptide nucleic acid fluorescence in situ hybridization bacterial aggregates were demonstrated to be embedded in an opaque matrix, indicating that the bacteria had formed a biofilm. Development of experimental osteomyelitis was therefore dependent on the strain of bacteria inoculated and on the formation of a biofilm.
Journal of comparative pathology 04/2012; 147(2-3):343-53. · 1.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a common complication in severe sepsis. In pigs, the lungs play an important role in clearing systemic bacterial infections due to pulmonary intravascular macrophages found specifically in pigs. However, this increases the exposure of the porcine lungs to pathogens and potential injury. The authors propose that increasing the concentration of the inoculum without changing the bacterial dose will lead to severe sepsis with pronounced pulmonary lesions. This could potentially create a risk of cytokine spillover to the circulation, leading to an increased systemic response. Eight Danish Landrace pigs, approximately 10 weeks old, were inoculated twice with a low or once with a high concentration of Staphylococcus aureus. Three pigs were sham-inoculated. The animals were grouped based on macro- and microscopic lung lesions. The mRNA expression of local pulmonary inflammatory markers was compared to protein levels of systemic inflammatory markers. The most severe pulmonary lesions were observed in animals receiving the high S. aureus concentration, indicating that severity of lesions is dependent on inoculum concentration rather than total numbers of bacteria. Furthermore, local mRNA expression of inflammatory cytokines appeared to be dependent on the magnitude and severity of tissue destruction, including the ability to confine the lesions. Increasing mRNA levels of serum amyloid A could be a confident marker of severity of pulmonary lesions. Since no correlation was observed between local and systemic levels of inflammatory cytokines, this finding could indicate an ability of the porcine lung to compartmentalize the local inflammatory response and thus restrict systemic contribution.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It is suggested that cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) derived prostaglandins contributes to the progressive bone loss seen in osteomyelitis lesions. In the present study we examined the expression of COX-2 in bones from 23 pigs with experimental osteomyelitis. Osteomyelitis was induced with Staphylococcus aureus and groups of animals were euthanized following 6 h, 12 h, 24 h, 2 days, 5 days, 11 days and 15 days, respectively. Expression of COX-2 was evaluated immunohistochemically and combined with characterization of morphological changes in bone tissue. Furthermore, the serum concentrations of alkaline phosphatase and haptoglobin were measured. Extensive COX-2 expression by osteoblasts was present 2 days after inoculation together with many activated osteoclasts. Simultaneously, the serum concentration of alkaline phosphatase decreased whereas the haptoglobin concentration increased. This is the first in vivo study showing an early wave of COX-2 mediated bone resorption during osteomyelitis. Therefore, treatment aiming to reduce the break down of bone tissue directed by the COX-2 pathway might be suggested early in the course of the disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The initial pathology and pathogenesis of pyelonephritis and the influence of different strains of Escherichia coli were investigated in a novel porcine model. Nine female pigs were divided into three groups (A, B and C) and inoculated repeatedly into one renal pelvis with porcine pyelonephritis E. coli strain LK67 (P fimbriae PapG(I)), LK76 (type 1 fimbriae) or LK82 (type 1 fimbriae and P fimbriae PapG(II/III)), respectively. The contralateral kidneys were inoculated with saline and served as controls. Pigs were killed 6h post-inoculation (hpi). Differential leucocyte counts, serum biochemical analyses and measurement of serum concentrations of proinflammatory cytokines and acute phase proteins were carried out at 0, 3 and 6 hpi. Bacteriological evaluation of urine, kidneys, spleen, liver, abdominal swabs and blood samples and gross and histopathological evaluation of kidneys, renal lymph nodes, liver and spleen were performed by quantitative, semiquantitative and/or descriptive methods. Immunohistochemistry was used to identify cells expressing L1 antigen, CD3ɛ, CD4, CD8, CD79αcy and lysozyme, and to identify E. coli and Tamm-Horsfall protein (THP). E. coli was re-isolated from all inoculated kidneys. Gross and microscopical lesions of acute pyelonephritis were demonstrated in all but one kidney inoculated with E. coli, but in none of the control kidneys. Renal parenchymal infiltration with both neutrophils and mononuclear cells, primarily CD3+ T lymphocytes, was observed at 6 hpi. Most T lymphocytes were CD8+. Pigs in group C had the highest mean pathology scores. Neutrophils were the dominant renal leucocyte in this group, while the number of mononuclear cells was at least equal to the number of neutrophils in the lesions of pigs from groups A and B. Kidneys with a high number of E. coli had severe lesions. Systemic spread of E. coli was observed in five pigs. THP was observed interstitially in 89% of the E. coli-inoculated kidneys. In all groups, increased numbers of neutrophils and decreased numbers of lymphocytes and monocytes were shown by differential leucocyte count at 6 hpi, and from 3 to 6 hpi there was a significant increase in C-reactive protein concentration.
Journal of comparative pathology 05/2011; 144(4):257-68. · 1.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A porcine model of acute, haematogenous, localized osteomyelitis was established. Serial dilutions of Staphylococcus aureus [5-50-500-5000-50 000 CFU/kg body weight (BW) suspended in saline or saline alone] were inoculated into the right brachial artery of pigs (BW 15 kg) separated into six groups of two animals. During the infection, blood was collected for cultivation, and after the animals were killed from day 5 to 15, they were necropsied and tissues were sampled for histopathology. Animals receiving ≤500 CFU/kg BW were free of lesions. Pigs inoculated with 5000 and 50 000 CFU/kg BW only developed microabscesses in bones of the infected legs. In the centre of microabscesses, S. aureus was regularly demonstrated together with necrotic neutrophils. Often, bone lesions resulted in trabecular osteonecrosis. The present localized model of acute haematogenous osteomyelitis revealed a pattern of development and presence of lesions similar to the situation in children. Therefore, this model should be reliably applied in studies of this disease with respect to e.g. pathophysiology and pathomorphology. Moreover, because of the regional containment of the infection to a defined number of bones, the model should be applicable also for screening of new therapy strategies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Left-sided valvular endocarditis (LSVE) is a common finding in slaughter pigs. The lesion is often associated with renal thromboembolism, but information on embolization to other organs is sparse. This study focuses on the presence and type of endocarditis-associated brain lesions (EABLs). The brains of 20 slaughter pigs with spontaneously arising LSVE and 11 controls were examined by sectioning half of a formalin-fixed brain into 4mm slices for histological examination. The aetiology of the endocarditis was determined by bacteriological and, in some cases, by fluorescence in-situ hybridization examinations. These examinations identified 11 cases of Streptococcus suis, six cases of Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, one Streptococcus spp. and two cases that remained aetiologically undetermined. One of the S. suis cases had a dual infection with S. suis in the aortic valve lesions and Streptococcus dysgalactiae subsp. equisimilis in the atrioventricular valve lesions. Renal infarcts were present in eight cases. Focal encephalitis was found in 12 cases, with the number of lesions ranging from one to 11. Most pigs had less than four microscopical lesions. Acute lesions were characterized by focal microabscesses without observable bacteria. Chronic lesions were characterized by astrocytosis and focal accumulation of mononuclear leucocytes. An infarct was observed in one animal. Perivascular inflammation was seen in 14 cases, mostly as two or three lesions, while focal leptomeningitis was found in eight cases. EABLs are therefore common in slaughter pigs with LSVE. The number of lesions per animal is small, which may explain the limited attention paid to this sequela of LSVE. EABLs have rarely been reported in domestic animals and mostly in patients with neurological signs. The frequent occurrence of EABLs in slaughter pigs suggests that this pathology should be investigated in other animal species with LSVE.
Journal of comparative pathology 12/2010; 144(4):289-95. · 1.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Endocarditis lesions from 117 slaughter pigs were examined pathologically and etiologically in addition to 90 control hearts with cardiac valves. Lesions were located on the valves; however, the lesions had extended to the walls in 21 cases (18%). Lesions predominated on the mitral valve (59%). A total of 28 cases, from which no growth was obtained or a contamination flora was grown, were screened by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for bacteria (general bacterial probe) and probes specific for Streptococcus suis and Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, respectively. Using FISH, an additional 10 cases of endocarditis due to S. suis and E. rhusiopathiae were disclosed. Within lesions, streptococci predominated (53%) followed by E. rhusiopathiae (30%). Distinct features of both the lesions and the shape and localization of bacterial colonies were related to streptococci and E. rhusiopathiae. The propensity for streptococci to be localized on more than 1 valve in single hearts may be because S. suis-infected pigs tend to have been infected for a longer period compared with E. rhusiopathiae. Mineralization of endocarditis lesions was significantly associated with infection by streptococci, and was seen in 71% of the cases, whereas it was present in only 28% of lesions caused by E. rhusiopathiae. In addition, areas with mineralization were significantly correlated to the presence of a granulomatous reaction. Granulomatous endocarditis is likely a result of a foreign body reaction due to dystrophic mineralization. Local proliferation of valvular endothelial cells, found in 9 hearts in the current study, may increase the risk of developing thrombosing endocarditis in pigs.
Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation: official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc 11/2010; 22(6):921-7. · 1.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nine pigs were inoculated intravenously once or twice with 10(8) Staphylococcus aureus per kilogram body weight and sacrificed 12, 24 and 48 h after inoculation. Three sham-infected pigs served as controls. Blood samples were taken for bacteriology, haematology and clinical chemistry. A necropsy was carried out and tissue samples were collected for bacteriology and histology. The onset of clinical disease was seen at 7-8 h after inoculation. The blood bacterial counts remained low throughout the study. All infected pigs developed sepsis characterized by fever, neutrophilia, increased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and IL-6, and decreased levels of serum iron. The CRP and IL-6 levels peaked at 36 h, whereas IL-1beta and tumour necrosis factor-alpha showed no obvious changes. Thromboelastography showed increasing hypercoagulability from 12 h and onwards, whereas the platelet numbers declined slightly throughout the experiment. The levels of serum aspartate aminotransferase and bilirubin were elevated at 24 and 36 h. In conclusion, sepsis and severe sepsis were induced as evidenced by dysfunction of the blood clotting system and the liver.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study aims to investigate the occurrence of coryneform bacteria in canine otitis externa. A combined case series and case-control study was carried out to improve the current knowledge on frequency and clinical significance of coryneform bacteria in samples from canine otitis externa. A total of 16 cases of otitis externa with involvement of coryneform bacteria were recorded at two referral veterinary hospitals in Denmark and the US, respectively. Coryneform bacteria were identified by partial 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Corynebacterium auriscanis was the most common coryneform species (10 cases). Small colony variants of this species were also observed. Other coryneform isolates were identified as Corynebacterium amycolatum (3 cases), Corynebacterium freneyi (2 cases) and an Arcanobacterium-like species (1 case). The coryneform bacteria were in all cases isolated together with other bacteria, mainly Staphylococcus pseudintermedius alone (n=5) or in combination with Malassezia pachydermatis (n=5). Some coryneform isolates displayed resistance to fusidic acid or enrofloxacin, two antimicrobial agents commonly used for the treatment of otitis externa in dogs. The frequency of isolation of coryneform bacteria was 16% among 55 cases of canine otitis externa examined at the Danish hospital during 2007. In contrast, detectable levels of coryneform bacteria were not demonstrated in samples from the acustic meatus of 35 dogs with apparently healthy ears, attending the hospital during the same year. On basis of the current knowledge, these coryneform bacteria should be regarded as potential secondary pathogens able to proliferate in the environment of an inflamed ear canal.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Acute bovine laminitis is a systemic disease with local manifestations primarily affecting the claws. However, distension of the tarsocrural joints has been observed after experimental oligofructose overload in dairy heifers as a part of the complex interpreted as acute, clinical laminitis. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to study bovine synovial joints and tendon sheaths after oligofructose overload. Ten dairy heifers received oral oligofructose overload (17 g/kg body weight); four were killed 24h after overload and six after 72 h. Six control heifers received tap water and were killed after 72 or 96 h. Clinical examination included locomotion scoring and palpation of the tarsocrural joints. Ruminal fluid and blood was collected for measurements of pH and hydration status. Total protein concentrations and white blood cell (WBC) counts were determined in synovial fluid collected from tarsocrural joints after death. Synovial joints and tendon sheaths were examined and synovial membranes were studied microscopically. Swabs taken from the synovial cavities were subject to bacteriological culture. Heifers with oligofructose overload developed signs of ruminal and systemic acidosis. Lameness was observed in three of ten heifers 24h after overload and in all remaining heifers after 72 h. Distension of tarsocrural joints was observed from 18 h after overload and peaked at 30 h when all examined joints were moderately or severely distended. The synovial fluid was turbid and protein content and WBC counts were increased at both 24 and 72 h compared with controls. Bacterial culture was negative. Synovial membranes 24 and 72 h after overload had a fibrinous and neutrophil inflammatory reaction that regressed in severity between 24 and 72 h after overload. Heifers subjected to oligofructose overload therefore developed generalized sterile neutrophilic polysynovitis. Focus on this aspect of bovine laminitis may shed new light on the pathogenesis of this complex disease.
Journal of comparative pathology 02/2010; 142(2-3):129-38. · 1.73 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pyelonephritis is a serious disease in pig production that needs to be further studied. The purpose of this study was to describe the morphology, investigate the pathogenesis, and evaluate the aetiological role of Escherichia coli in pyelonephritis in slaughtered pigs by concurrent bacteriological, gross and histopathological examinations.
From Danish abattoirs, kidneys and corresponding lymph nodes from 22 slaughtered finishing pigs and 26 slaughtered sows with pyelonephritis were collected and evaluated by bacteriology and pathology. Based on gross lesions, each kidney (lesion) was grouped as acute, chronic, chronic active, or normal and their histological inflammatory stage was determined as normal (0), acute (1), sub-acute (2), chronic active (3), or chronic (4). Immunohistochemical identification of neutrophils, macrophages, T-lymphocytes, B-lymphocytes, plasma cells, E. coli and Tamm-Horsfall protein (THP) in renal sections was performed. The number of E. coli and the proportion of immunohistochemically visualized leukocytes out of the total number of infiltrating leukocytes were scored semi-quantitatively.
Lesions in finishing pigs and sows were similar. Macroscopically, multiple unevenly distributed foci of inflammation mostly affecting the renal poles were observed. Histologically, tubulointerstitial infiltration with neutrophils and mononuclear cells and tubular destruction was the main findings. The significant highest scores of L1 antigen+ neutrophils were in inflammatory stage 1 while the significant highest scores of CD79alphacy+ B-lymphocytes, IgG+ and IgA+ plasma cells were in stage 3 or 4. Neutrophils were the dominant leukocytes in stage 1 while CD3epsilon+ T-lymphocytes dominated in stage 2, 3 and 4. Interstitially THP was seen in 82% and 98% of kidneys with pyelonephritis from finishing pigs and sows, respectively. E. coli was demonstrated in monoculture and/or identified by immunohistochemistry in relation to inflammation in four kidneys from finishing pigs and in 34 kidneys from sows.
E. coli played a significant role in the aetiology of pyelonephritis. Neutrophils were involved in the first line of defence. CD3epsilon+ T-lymphocytes were involved in both the acute and chronic inflammatory response while a humoral immune response was most pronounced in later inflammatory stages. The observed renal lesions correspond with an ascending bacterial infection with presence of intra-renal reflux.