DNA was extracted from colonic biopsies of 33 patients with and three without evidence of intestinal spirochetosis (IS) in the large bowel. The biopsies were subjected to PCR. A pair of primers, generating a 207 bp fragment, were designed to detect specifically the 16S rDNA gene of Brachyspira. PCR products of the expected size were obtained from 33 samples with histologic evidence of IS. The PCR amplicons were used for sequencing. The sequences obtained were aligned to the corresponding 16S rRNA sequences of five type strains of Brachyspira. The sequences of 23 PCR products were 99-100% identical with the corresponding B. aalborgi type strain sequence. Two cases showed 99-100% sequence similarity with the type strain of B. pilosicoli P43/6/78. Six cases could not be referred to any of the known species of Brachyspira. Two PCR products gave incomplete sequences.
Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) research has provided significant understanding of the disease over the past 26 years. Modern research tools that have been used include monoclonal antibodies, genomics, polymerase chain reaction, immunohistochemistry (IHC), DNA vaccines and viral vectors coding for immunogens. Emerging/reemerging viruses and new antigenic strains of viruses and bacteria have been identified. Methods of detection and the role for cattle persistently infected bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) were identified; viral subunits, cellular components and bacterial products have been characterized. Product advances have included vaccines for bovine respiratory syncytial virus, Mannheimia haemolytica and Pasteurella multocida; the addition of BVDV2 to the existing vaccines and new antibiotics. The role of Mycoplasma spp., particularly Mycoplasma bovis in BRD, has been more extensively studied. Bovine immunology research has provided more specific information on immune responses, T cell subsets and cytokines. The molecular and genetic basis for viral-bacterial synergy in BRD has been described. Attempts have been made to document how prevention of BRD by proper vaccination and management prior to exposure to infectious agents can minimize disease and serve as economic incentives for certified health programs.
The USDA:APHIS National Animal Health Monitoring System collects data on health and health management in livestock and poultry populations throughout the USA in order to provide stakeholders with population estimates to use as benchmarks for comparison, to guide policy development, and to identify research needs and prioritize education efforts. Recent studies of both the beef cattle feedlot industry and dairy heifer rearing operations provided information about BRD occurrence as well as information about prevention and treatment practices used on these operations. While a great deal of effort is dedicated to BRD prevention, there are still opportunities to improve the strategies used. Despite efforts to prevent the disease, BRD continues to be widespread on both of these types of operations.
Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is a worldwide health concern and is the number one disease of stocker, backgrounder, and feedlot cattle in North America. In feedlots in the USA, BRD accounts for 70-80% of all feedlot morbidity and 40-50% of all mortality. In 2011, the US Department of Agriculture's National Animal Health Monitoring System conducted a feedlot study that showed 16.2% of all feedlot cattle were treated for BRD. It is universally accepted that this number is distressingly high and that our industry has the tools available to reduce the incidence of BRD.
During the first half of the twentieth century, widespread regulatory efforts to control cattle brucellosis due to Brucella abortus in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were essentially non-existent, and control was limited to selective test and slaughter of serologic agglutination reactors. By the 1950s, 2-3 million cattle were being vaccinated annually with the strain 19 vaccine, but because this vaccine induced strong, long-term titers on agglutination tests that interfered with identification of cattle infected with field strains of B. abortus, its use in cattle was discontinued in 1970. Soviet scientists then began a comprehensive program of research to identify vaccines with high immunogenicity, weak responses on agglutination tests and low pathogenicity in humans, as a foundation for widespread control of cattle brucellosis. While several new vaccines that induced weak or no responses on serologic agglutination tests were identified by experiments in guinea pigs and cattle, a large body of experimental and field studies suggested that the smooth-rough strain SR82 vaccine combined the desired weak agglutination test responses with comparatively higher efficacy against brucellosis. In 1974, prior to widespread use of strain SR82 vaccine, over 5300 cattle farms across the Russian Federation were known to be infected with B. abortus. By January 2008, only 68 cattle farms in 18 regions were known to be infected with B. abortus, and strain SR82 continues to be the most widely and successfully used vaccine in many regions of the Russian Federation.
Intestinal spirochetosis in humans (HIS) is a condition defined by the presence of a layer of spirochetes attached by one cell end to the colorectal epithelium. The pathologic significance of HIS is uncertain, but it has been linked to chronic diarrhea and other abdominal complaints. Two anaerobic intestinal spirochete species have been associated with HIS, namely Brachyspira pilosicoli and Brachyspira aalborgi. Brachyspira pilosicoli, which colonizes many animal species, is common (approximately 30%) in the feces of people from developing countries, including Australian Aborigines, and in HIV+ patients and male homosexuals in Western societies. It is also commonly seen attached to the rectal mucosa of homosexual males. In other groups in Western societies both the presence of B. pilosicoli in feces and histologic HIS are uncommon (approximately 1.5%). Brachyspira aalborgi is an extremely slow growing and fastidious spirochete, which previously had been isolated from an HIS patient in Denmark. Recent studies using polymerase chain reaction amplification of DNA from intestinal biopsies from a series of cases of HIS in the general Western population demonstrated that B. aalborgi, rather than B. pilosicoli, was the main spirochete species involved in these patients. This review outlines recent developments in the study of HIS and the two spirochete species, and identifies priorities for future research.
Adequate blood calcium (Ca) concentrations are a prerequisite to maintain several physiological functions of mammals such as pig and ruminants. Thus, blood Ca levels have to be regulated within very close limits. This is basically ensured through the coordinated effects of the calcitropic hormones parathyroid hormone (PTH) and calcitriol (1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3). If plasma Ca decreases, one main effect of subsequently secreted PTH is the stimulation of renal reabsorption of Ca from the glomerular filtrate to reduce urinary Ca loss. Another important action of PTH is the induction of the renal enzyme 1 alpha-hydroxylase, which is responsible for the production of calcitriol. In most monogastric species, so far investigated, one of the most important effects of calcitriol is to stimulate active absorption of Ca from the gastrointestinal tract, particularly the upper small intestines, via a vitamin D-receptor-mediated genomic action. Whether this concept can be transferred without any constrictions to ruminants is still under discussion. Marked interspecies differences have to be recognized with respect to ruminant or non-ruminant animals, particularly with respect to individual segments along the gastrointestinal axis and with respect to vitamin D sensitivity of Ca transport mechanisms. This review will elucidate some of the current concepts related to the mechanisms and sites of Ca absorption in pigs and ruminants with special emphasis on dairy cows where Ca homeostasis is occasionally compromised at the time of parturition.
Aquaculture is the fastest growing food-producing sector, providing an acceptable supplement to and substitute for wild fish and plants. Increased production intensification, particularly in high-value species, involves substantial stress, which, as in other captive livestock species, has resulted in outbreaks of major diseases and related mortalities. Widespread use of antibiotics has led to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the accumulation of antibiotics in the environment and the flesh of fish. Thus, recently effort has been dedicated to vaccine development. Vaccination in fish is complicated by their aquatic environment. Individual injections are labor-intensive and stressful, since fish have to be removed from the water and anaesthetized. Some vaccines offer a limited duration of protection, and thus booster applications are required. In salmonid species, many commercial vaccines use oil-based adjuvants, resulting in a greatly improved duration of protection. However, oil-based adjuvants have been related to significant growth depression, internal adhesions and injection site melanization, resulting in carcass downgrading. Oral administration to aquatic species is by far the most appealing method of vaccine delivery: there is no handling of the fish, which reduces stress; and administration is easy and suitable for mass immunization. However, few oral vaccines have been commercialized, due in part to the increased quantity of antigen required to provoke an immune response, and the lack of an adequate duration of protection. For effective oral delivery, protective antigens must avoid digestive hydrolysis and be taken up in the hindgut in order to induce an effective protective immune response. Antigen encapsulation technologies have been used to protect antigen; however, such strategies can be expensive and are not always effective. Alternative approaches, currently under development, are discussed.
Medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) are found at higher levels in milk lipids of many animal species and in the oil fraction of several plants, including coconuts, palm kernels and certain Cuphea species. Medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and fatty acids are efficiently absorbed and metabolized and are therefore used for piglet nutrition. They may provide instant energy and also have physiological benefits beyond their energetic value contributing to several findings of improved performance in piglet-feeding trials. MCTs are effectively hydrolyzed by gastric and pancreatic lipases in the newborn and suckling young, allowing rapid provision of energy for both enterocytes and intermediary hepatic metabolism. MCFAs affect the composition of the intestinal microbiota and have inhibitory effects on bacterial concentrations in the digesta, mainly on Salmonella and coliforms. However, most studies have been performed in vitro up to now and in vivo data in pigs are still scarce. Effects on the gut-associated and general immune function have been described in several animal species, but they have been less studied in pigs. The addition of up to 8% of a non-esterified MCFA mixture in feed has been described, but due to the sensory properties this can have a negative impact on feed intake. This may be overcome by using MCTs, allowing dietary inclusion rates up to 15%. Feeding sows with diets containing 15% MCTs resulted in a lower mortality of newborns and better development, particularly of underweight piglets. In conclusion, MCFAs and MCTs offer advantages for the improvement of energy supply and performance of piglets and may stabilize the intestinal microbiota, expanding the spectrum of feed additives supporting piglet health in the post-weaning period.
Research in the past decade has led to the recognition of Brachyspira (formerly Serpulina) pilosicoli as the primary etiologic agent of colonic spirochetosis (CS), an emerging cause of colitis in humans and animals. Attachment of spirochetes to the epithelial surface of the lower intestine is considered to be the hallmark of CS. However, because B. pilosicoli, B. aalborgi and unclassified flagellated bacteria are found singly or together in humans and non-human primates with CS lesions, attachment of spiral-shaped bacteria may not represent the same etiopathogenetic entity in all hosts. Moreover, North American opossums with CS are infected with B. aalborgi-like spirochetes together with flagellated bacteria, whereas B. pilosicoli is found alone in dogs, pigs, chickens and other species of birds with CS. Conversely, guinea-pigs with CS have unidentified spirochetes that may be B. pilosicoli or B. aalborgi. The pig model of CS suggests that attachment of B. pilosicoli to epithelial cells may be transient. By contrast, persistence of B. pilosicoli in the cecal and colonic crypt lumina, chronic inflammation caused by spirochetal invasion into the subepithelial lamina propria and translocation to extraintestinal sites may be more important than previously thought. This review describes the lesions seen in naturally occurring and experimentally induced CS of animals, and it sets the stage for future research into the pathogenic mechanisms of infection and colitis caused by B. pilosicoli.
Similar to other bacteria, Brucella strains require several biologically essential metals for their survival in vitro and in vivo. Acquiring sufficient levels of some of these metals, particularly iron, manganese and zinc, is especially challenging in the mammalian host, where sequestration of these micronutrients is a well-documented component of both the innate and acquired immune responses. This review describes the Brucella metal transporters that have been shown to play critical roles in the virulence of these bacteria in experimental and natural hosts.
The transport of nitrogen across the rumen epithelium is characterized by absorption of ammonia from the rumen and by an influx of urea into the rumen. The transport rates of both compounds are large and exhibit wide variation. The transport of ammonia occurs in two forms: in the lipophilic form as NH3, the magnitude of which is linearly related to the pH in the ruminal fluid at pH values above 7, while at a physiological pH of 6.5 or lower, ammonia is predominantly absorbed as NH4+ via putative potassium channels in the apical membrane. The uptake of NH4+ depends on the potential difference of the apical membrane, Pda, and shows competition with K uptake. The pathway for basolateral exit of NH4+ is unknown. Hence, the relative transport rates of NH3 or NH4+ are determined by the ruminal pH according to the Henderson-Hasselbalch equation. Transport of ammonia interacts with the transport of Na and Mg mainly via changes of the intracellular pH. Urea recycling into the rumen has been known for many years and the transport across the rumen epithelium is mediated via urea transporters in the luminal and basolateral membrane of the epithelium. Transport of urea occurs by simple diffusion, but is highly variable. A significant increase of urea influx is caused by the fermentation products CO2 and short-chain fatty acids. Conversely, there is some evidence of inhibition of urea influx by ruminal ammonia. The underlying mechanisms of this modulation of urea transport are unknown, but of considerable nutritional importance, and future research should be directed to this aspect of ruminal transport.
Bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) is a major animal health and economic issue that affects cattle industries worldwide. Within the USA, the beef cattle industry loses up to an estimated 1 billion dollars a year due to BRDC. There are many contributors to BRDC, including environmental stressors and viral and/or bacterial infections. One species of bacteria in particular, Mannheimia haemolytica, is recognized as the major cause of severe fibrinonecrotic pneumonia in cattle. M. haemolytica is an opportunistic pathogen that normally populates the upper respiratory tract of cattle, and invades the lower respiratory tract in stressed and/or virally infected cattle by mechanisms that are not completely understood. However, not all M. haemolytica appear to be equally pathogenic to cattle. Thus, a test could be developed to distinguish M. haemolytica genetic subtypes by their propensity to cause respiratory disease, allowing isolation and/or treatment of cattle harboring strains with an increased propensity to cause disease. To that end, the genomes of over 300 M. haemolytica strains are being sequenced.
The ruminal epithelium has an enormous capacity for the absorption of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs). This not only delivers metabolic energy to the animal but is also an essential regulatory mechanism that stabilizes the intraruminal milieu. The epithelium itself, however, is endangered by the influx of SCFAs because the intracellular pH (pHi) may drop to a lethal level. To prevent severe cytosolic acidosis, the ruminal epithelium is able to extrude (or buffer) protons by various mechanisms: (i) a Na+/H+ exchanger, (ii) a bicarbonate importing system and (iii) an H+/monocarboxylate cotransporter (MCT). Besides pHi regulation, the MCT also provides the animal with ketone bodies derived from the intraepithelial breakdown of SCFAs. Ketone bodies, in turn, can serve as an energy source for extrahepatic tissues. In addition to SCFA uptake, glucose absorption has recently been identified as a potential way of eliminating acidogenic substrates from the rumen. At least with respect to SCFAs, absorption rates can be elevated when adapting animals to energy-rich diets. Although they are very effective under physiological conditions, the absorptive and regulatory mechanisms of the ruminal epithelium also have their limits. An increased number of protons during the state of ruminal acidosis can be eliminated neither from the lumen nor the cytosol, thus worsening dysfermentation and finally leading to functional and morphological alterations of the epithelial lining.
Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae is an important pig pathogen that is responsible for swine pleuropneumonia, a highly contagious respiratory infection. Knowledge of the importance, composition and structural determination of the major antigens involved in virulence provides crucial information that could lead to the development of a rationale for the production of specific serodiagnostic tools as well as vaccine development. Thus, efforts have been devoted to study mainly A. pleuropneumoniae virulence determinants with special emphasis on the Apx toxins (for A. pleuropneumoniae RTX toxins). In comparison, little attention has been given to the surface polysaccharides, which include capsular polysaccharides (CPS) and cell-wall lipopolysaccharides (LPS). Here, we review current knowledge on CPS and LPS of A. pleuropneumoniae used as diagnostic tools to monitor the infection and as immunogens for inclusion in vaccine preparations for animal protection.
With the growing emergence of antibiotic resistance and rising consumer demands concerning food safety, vaccination to prevent bacterial infections is of increasing relevance. Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae is the etiological agent of porcine pleuropneumonia, a respiratory disease leading to severe economic losses in the swine industry. Despite all the research and trials that were performed with A. pleuropneumoniae vaccination in the past, a safe vaccine that offers complete protection against all serotypes has yet not reached the market. However, recent advances made in the identification of new potential vaccine candidates and in the targeting of specific immune responses, give encouraging vaccination perspectives. Here, we review past and current knowledge on A. pleuropneumoniae vaccines as well as the newly available genomic tools and vaccination strategies that could be useful in the design of an efficient vaccine against A. pleuropneumoniae infection.
Agrosecurity has become a major concern for livestock operations. This paper reviews post 11 September 2001, American planning activities and offers commentary on issues related to these plans. A critical issue is the need for as many people as possible to be aware of plans and preparations already completed and actions still necessary. There is a sizeable disparity within the animal agriculture sector about information known and understood at different levels. Several readiness exercises have highlighted the need for better broad-spectrum communication: communication within disciplines, within agencies, across disciplines, across agencies, and most importantly everyone involved must talk with industry at all levels. The best preparation involves close coordination between law enforcement, industry, governmental agencies at all levels, academia, risk managers and communicators, veterinarians, engineers, economists, game theorists, and others. This paper features issues related to concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), highlights some of the lessons learned through these exercises, and discusses a plan of action patterned after the activities of a regional agricultural jurisdictional working group.
The exponential expansion of the human population has led to overexploitation of resources and overproduction of items that have caused a series of potentially devastating effects, including ocean acidification, ozone depletion, biodiversity loss, the spread of invasive flora and fauna and climatic changes - along with the emergence of new diseases in animals and humans. Climate change occurs as a result of imbalances between incoming and outgoing radiation in the atmosphere. This process generates heat. As concentrations of atmospheric gases reach record levels, global temperatures are expected to increase significantly. The hydrologic cycle will be altered, since warmer air can retain more moisture than cooler air. This means that some geographic areas will have more rainfall, whereas others have more drought and severe weather. The potential consequences of significant and permanent climatic changes are altered patterns of diseases in animal and human populations, including the emergence of new disease syndromes and changes in the prevalence of existing diseases. A wider geographic distribution of known vectors and the recruitment of new strains to the vector pool could result in infections spreading to more and potentially new species of hosts. If these predictions turn out to be accurate, there will be a need for policymakers to consider alternatives, such as adaptation. This review explores the linkages between climate change and animal diseases, and examines interrelated issues that arise from altered biological dynamics. Its aim is to consider various risks and vulnerabilities and to make the case for policies favoring adaptation.
Bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) infection is widespread and causes a variety of diseases. Although similar in many respects to the human immune response to human herpesvirus 1, the differences in the bovine virus proteins, immune system components and strategies, physiology, and lifestyle mean the bovine immune response to BHV-1 is unique. The innate immune system initially responds to infection, and primes a balanced adaptive immune response. Cell-mediated immunity, including cytotoxic T lymphocyte killing of infected cells, is critical to recovery from infection. Humoral immunity, including neutralizing antibody and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity, is important to prevention or control of (re-)infection. BHV-1 immune evasion strategies include suppression of major histocompatibility complex presentation of viral antigen, helper T-cell killing, and latency. Immune suppression caused by the virus potentiates secondary infections and contributes to the costly bovine respiratory disease complex. Vaccination against BHV-1 is widely practiced. The many vaccines reported include replicating and non-replicating, conventional and genetically engineered, as well as marker and non-marker preparations. Current development focuses on delivery of major BHV-1 glycoproteins to elicit a balanced, protective immune response, while excluding serologic markers and virulence or other undesirable factors. In North America, vaccines are used to prevent or reduce clinical signs, whereas in some European Union countries marker vaccines have been employed in the eradication of BHV-1 disease.
The vast majority of pathogens invade via mucosal surfaces, including those of the intestine. Vaccination directly on these surfaces may induce local protective immunity and prevent infection and disease. Although vaccine delivery to the gut mucosa is fraught with obstacles, immunization can be enhanced using adjuvants with properties specific to intestinal immunity. In this review, we present three general mechanisms of vaccine adjuvant function as originally described by Freund, and we discuss these principles with respect to intestinal adjuvants in general and to the prototypical mucosal adjuvant, cholera toxin. The key property of intestinal adjuvants is to induce an immunogenic context for the presentation of the vaccine antigen. The success of oral vaccine adjuvants is determined by their ability to induce a controlled inflammatory response in the gut-associated lymphoid tissues, characterized by the expression of various costimulatory molecules and cytokines. An understanding of the specific molecular mechanisms of adjuvanticity in the gut will allow the rational development of safe and effective oral vaccines.
Effective, sustainable control of nematode parasites of grazing livestock is becoming evermore challenging and difficult. This is largely due to two contrasting issues. One is the rapid escalation of resistance to anthelmintic drugs, which is arguably the greatest problem now facing the small ruminant industries worldwide. Secondly, there is the increasing trend towards organic farming, in which there is prohibition of the prophylactic use of all chemical compounds. Livestock producers urgently need non-chemotherapeutic alternatives in parasite control. Researchers have responded to this challenge and a variety of quite different approaches have been the subject of intense investigation in many countries for several decades now. These vary in relation to their stage of development for on-farm use, their utility, and their applicability across the spectrum of grazing livestock enterprises throughout the world. One relatively recent innovation is the biological control approach to nematode parasites. This has now reached the stage of commercialization. This review focuses on these issues and provides an overview of the possible ways in which the biological control of nematode parasites could be employed in grazing ruminant livestock systems worldwide.
Pathogens that enter the body via mucosal surfaces face unique defense mechanisms that combine the innate barrier provided by the mucus layer with an adaptive response typified by the production and transepithelial secretion of pathogen-specific IgA. Both the measurement and induction of mucosal responses pose significant challenges for experimental and practical application and may need to be adapted to the species under study. In particular, for livestock, immunization procedures developed in small rodent models are not always effective in large animals or compatible with management practices. This paper reviews the latest advances in our understanding of the processes that lead to secretory IgA responses and how this relates to the development of mucosal immunization procedures and adjuvants for veterinary vaccines. In addition, it highlights the complex interactions that can take place between the pathogen and the host's immune response, with specific reference to Chlamydia/Chlamydophila infections in sheep.