[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epizootic bovine abortion (EBA), a tick-transmitted disease of pregnant cattle grazing foothill pastures, is a major cause of reproductive failure in California and adjacent states. Affected fetuses develop a chronic disease, resulting in late-term abortion or premature calving. Despite investigations spanning 50 years, to the authors' knowledge, the etiologic agent of EBA has not yet been isolated from affected fetuses or the tick vector. The diagnosis of EBA is based on gross and microscopic lesions. Recently, documentation that the etiologic agent is susceptible to antibiotics and identification of a unique 16S deltaproteobacterial rDNA gene sequence in 90% of thymus tissues from aborted fetuses have supported the role of a bacterial infection as the cause of EBA. To determine whether bacteria could be detected in the tissues, histochemical staining and immunohistochemical procedures were used on formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues. Use of a modified Steiner silver stain revealed small numbers of intracytoplasmic bacterial rods in 37 of 42 thymic samples from EBA-affected fetuses. Improved detection was achieved by use of immunohistochemical staining with serum from EBA-affected fetuses that resulted in detection of numerous bacterial rods in the cytoplasm of histiocytic cells in the thymus from all 42 EBA-affected fetuses. Immunohistochemical examination of additional tissues from 21 field and experimental EBA cases revealed positively stained intracytoplasmic bacterial rods in many organs with inflammatory lesions. Use of the modified Steiner stain and immunohistochemical staining of tissues from negative-control fetuses failed to reveal organisms. To the authors' knowledge, this is the first report to document morphologic evidence of a bacterium associated with the lesions of EBA.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2006 · Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation: official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An immunohistochemistry (IHC) procedure for the detection of Campylobacter fetus antigens using an avidin-biotin complex technique was performed on formalin fixed bovine and ovine fetal tissues from 26 natural cases of Campylobacter spp. abortion (four ovine and 22 bovine). The species of Campylobacter isolated included C. fetus ssp. venerealis from 13 bovine fetuses, C. fetus ssp. fetus from two ovine and one bovine fetus, Campylobacter jejuni from seven bovine fetuses, Campylobacter lari from two ovine fetuses and an unspeciated Campylobacter species in one bovine fetus. Histologic lesions identified in the aborted fetuses included placentitis, serositis, pneumonia, gastroenteritis, hepatitis and encephalitis. Campylobacter fetus antigens were identified by IHC in 13 of 13 bovine fetuses from which C. fetus ssp. venerealis was isolated and in two of two ovine fetuses from which C. fetus ssp. fetus was isolated. The IHC stains were negative in tissues from seven bovine fetuses from which C. jejuni was isolated, one bovine fetus infected with C. fetus ssp. fetus, one bovine fetus infected with the unspeciated Campylobacter and two ovine fetuses infected with C. lari. In positive cases, the IHC stain most frequently identified bacteria in the lung and gastrointestinal tract. The C. fetus IHC procedure performed on formalin fixed tissues is a practical tool for the diagnosis of natural cases of ovine and bovine abortion caused by C. fetus.
Full-text · Article · May 2005 · Journal of Veterinary Medicine Series B