Haemophilus sommus (Histophilus Somni) in bighorn sheep

University of Idaho, College of Agriculture, Caine Veterinary Teaching Center, 1020 East Homedale Road, Caldwell, Idaho 83607-8098, USA.
Canadian journal of veterinary research = Revue canadienne de recherche vétérinaire (Impact Factor: 1.02). 02/2006; 70(1):34-42.
Source: PubMed


Respiratory disease and poor lamb recruitment have been identified as limiting factors for bighorn-sheep populations. Haemophilus somnus (recently reclassified as Histophilus somni) is associated with respiratory disease in American bison, domestic sheep, and cattle. It is also harbored in their reproductive tracts and has been associated with reproductive failure in domestic sheep and cattle. Therefore, reproductive tract and lung samples from bighorn sheep were evaluated for the presence of this organism. Organisms identified as H. somnus were isolated from 6 of 62 vaginal but none of 12 preputial swab samples. Antigen specific to H. somnus was detected by immunohistochemical study in 4 of 12 formalin-fixed lung tissue samples of bighorn sheep that died with evidence of pneumonia. Notably, H. somnus was found in alveolar debris in areas of inflammation. The 6 vaginal isolates and 2 H. somnus isolates previously cultured from pneumonic lungs of bighorn sheep were compared with 3 representative isolates from domestic sheep and 2 from cattle. The profiles of major outer membrane proteins and antigens for all of the isolates were predominantly similar, although differences that may be associated with the host-parasite relationship and virulence were detected. The DNA restriction fragment length profiles of the bighorn-sheep isolates had similarities not shared with the other isolates, suggesting distinct phylogenetic lines. All of the isolates had similar antimicrobial profiles, but the isolates from the bighorn sheep produced less pigment than those from the domestic livestock, and growth of the former was not enhanced by CO2. Wildlife biologists and diagnosticians should be aware of the potential of these organisms to cause disease in bighorn sheep and of growth characteristics that may hinder laboratory detection.

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    ABSTRACT: The role of bovine serum or plasma proteins in Haemophilus somnus virulence was investigated in a mouse model of septicemia. An increase in virulence was detected when the organism was pre-incubated for 5 min and inoculated with fetal calf serum. When purified bovine serum or plasma proteins were pre-incubated with H. somnus before inoculating into mice, transferrin was found to increase virulence. Bovine lactoferrin was also noted to increase virulence, but to a lesser extent and had a delayed time course when compared with transferrin. Using an ELISA assay, an increased amount of H. somnus whole cells and culture supernatant bound to bovine transferrin when the organism was grown in iron-restricted media. Lactoferrin also bound to H. somnus, but binding was not affected by growth in iron-restricted media and it was eliminated with 2M NaCl, which reversed charge mediated binding. Transferrin, but not lactoferrin, supported growth of H. somnus on iron-depleted agar based media using a disk assay. Therefore, lactoferrin increased virulence by an undetermined mechanism whereas transferrin increased virulence of H. somnus by binding to iron-regulated outer-membrane proteins (IROMPs) and providing iron to the pathogen.
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    ABSTRACT: Histophilus somni (former name: Haemophilus somnus) is a Gram-negative, facultative pathogen bacterium that colonises the mucous membranes of cattle and sheep, however it was also described in American bison and bighorn sheep. It can cause local or generalised diseases and asymptomatic carriers can also occur. The presence and the etiological role of this microorganism have not been confirmed in any other domesticated species yet. The purpose of this study was to prove the presence of H. somni in goats by bacterial isolation. Nasal, vaginal or praeputial swab samples were collected from 205 goats in 10 flocks. H. somni strains were isolated from 2 out of 10 flocks; in one flock 10 H. somni strains were isolated from the genital mucosa of 17 goats, while a single H. somni strain was cultured from a vagina of 26 animals in the other flock. Partial amplification and sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene of three H. somni strains verified the identification. The comparative examination of carbon source metabolism using the Biolog Microstation ID System (Biolog, Ca) showed a close relationship of the caprine strains, while they were less related to H. somni type strain CCUG-36157 of bovine origin. H. somni strains were isolated only in the oestrus season from goat flocks with sheep contact. This is the first paper on isolation of H. somni from goats.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2008 · Veterinary Microbiology
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    ABSTRACT: Histophilus somni (Haemophilus somnus) is one of the key bacterial pathogens involved in the multifactorial etiology of the Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex. This Gram negative pleomorphic rod also causes bovine septicemia, thrombotic meningencephalitis, myocarditis, arthritis, abortion and infertility, as well as disease in sheep, bison and bighorn sheep. Virulence factors include lipooligosaccharide, immunoglobulin binding proteins (as a surface fibrillar network), a major outer membrane protein (MOMP), other outer membrane proteins (OMPs) and exopolysaccharide. Histamine production, biofilm formation and quorum sensing may also contribute to pathogenesis. Antibodies are very important in protection as shown in passive protection studies. The lack of long-term survival of the organism in macrophages, unlike facultative intracellular bacteria, also suggests that antibodies should be critical in protection. Of the immunoglobulin classes, IgG2 antibodies are most implicated in protection and IgE antibodies in immunopathogenesis. The immunodominant antigen recognized by IgE is the MOMP and by IgG2 is a 40 kDa OMP. Pathogenetic synergy of bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) and H. somni in calves can be attributed, in part at least, to the higher IgE anti-MOMP antibody responses in dually infected calves. Other antigens are probably involved in stimulating host defense or immunopathology as well.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2008 · Animal Health Research Reviews
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