A granular vulvitis syndrome associated with ureaplasma infection was first recognized in Ontario dairy herds in 1972.
The acute form of the disease was characterized by a purulent vulvar discharge, an inflamed hyperemic vulvar mucosa and varying degrees of granularity. In the chronic form, there was an absence of a purulent discharge and a gradual decline in the severity of the hyperemia and granularity. Epithelial inclusion cysts were observed in the vulvar epithelium of approximately 10% of affected cows.
A seasonal variation in the incidence of the disease was observed. Herd morbidities during the summer months reached a low of 37% and increased to 75% during the winter months with constant housing.
When widespread in herds, the acute form of the disease had a significant effect on fertility. In four herds examined, first service conceptions dropped on average by 27%.
The chronic form of the disease had a less detrimental effect on fertility with first service conceptions being reduced on average by 13%.
Intrauterine infusions of a tetracycline 24 hours postbreeding were found to be of value in improving conception rates in acutely affected herds.
Granular vulvitis was reproduced in ten virgin heifers following vulvar inoculation with strains of ureaplasma previously isolated from natural cases. The disease appeared one to three days postinoculation and was characterized by vulvar swabs but not from the upper mucopurulent discharge. At necropsy 13 to 41 days later, ureaplasmas were recovered consistently from vulvar swabs but not from the upper reproductive tract. It was concluded that some strains of ureaplasma are pathogenic and should be viewed as a cause of bovine granular vulvitis.
Twenty-three virgin Holstein heifers received uterine inoculations with ureaplasma and were necropsied one to thirteen days later. Three heifers inoculated intracervically were necropsied on days 3, 5 and 11.
Granular vulvitis was produced on average by 3.6 days in fourteen of sixteen uterine inoculated heifers monitored for four or more days. Two cervically inoculated heifers monitored for over four days also developed granular vulvitis by the fourth day.
At necropsy, ureaplasma was recovered from 94% of uterine horn cultures for the first four days postinoculation and 50% during days 5 to 7. Thereafter all uterine cultures were negative. The percentage of positive ureaplasma recoveries from uterine tube flushings was lower than for uterine horns but remained positive for a longer period. By day 7, three of four uterine tube flushings were still positive. No bacterial pathogens were isolated from the uterine horns or uterine tube flushings.
On histopathology 50% of uterine inoculated heifers had endometritis up to six days postinoculation and a slightly higher percentage (58%) had salpingitis. Endometritis was not found in any heifers after day 6. Residual salpingitis was present in one heifer on day 7. Endometritis was present in cervically inoculated heifers necropsied on days 3 and 5 but not on day 11. Salpingitis was not found in any of the three cervically inoculated animals.
The study concluded that some strains of ureaplasma are pathogenic for the upper reproductive tract of the cow and should be considered significant when isolated from cases of granular vulvitis, endometritis or salpingitis.
We report herein a survey in which cultures of bovine reproductive tracts for Ureaplasma diversum and mycoplasmas were carried out in order to better understand the role of these organisms in granular vulvitis (GV). Samples cultured were vulvar swabs from clinically normal cows or ones with GV, preputial swabs or raw semen from bulls, and abomasal contents of aborted fetuses.
Ureaplasma diversum was isolated from 104 (43.3%) of 240 dairy cows, 32 (27.1%) of 118 beef cows, 43 (47.2%) of 91 beef heifers, 23 (67.6%) of 34 beef bulls, and three (60%) of five dairy bulls. Mycoplasmas were isolated from 18 (7.5%) dairy cows, two (1.6%) beef cows, three (8.8%) beef bulls, and one dairy bull. No isolation was made from 97 aborted fetuses. For 65 dairy cows and 30 beef heifers with vulvar lesions, the isolation rates for ureaplasmas of 62.5% and 69.7%, respectively, were significantly higher (X2) than those for normal animals (37.5% and 30.3%). On immunofluorescent serotyping of 137 of the 205 isolates, there were 66 in serogroup C (strain T44), 18 in serogroup B (strain D48), eight in serogroup A (strain A417 or strain 2312), 14 cross-reacting, and 31 that were not identified. It was concluded that U. diversum is commonly present in the lower reproductive tract of beef/dairy cattle in Saskatchewan and is associated with granular vulvitis.
Stable mycoplasma antigens for the indirect hemagglutination test (IHA) were prepared employing glutaraldehyde treated sheep erythrocytes sensitized with Mycoplasma agalactiae subsp. bovis and Mycoplasma bovigenitalium antigens. Employing these antigens mycoplasma antibodies were detected in sera from cattle which had mastitic symptoms due to natural infection with either M. agalactiae subsp. bovis or M. bovigenitalium. A total of 200 cows from four herds were examined at varying intervals for the presence of M. agalactiae subsp. bovis and for the detection of antibody using growth inhibition and IHA tests. Mycoplasmas were isolated from 37 animals. Growth inhibiting antibody was detected from 56 of the 200 animals. In the IHA tests, antibody titer greater than or equal to 1:80 were detected in 148 animals, 76 of these having antibody titers greater than or equal to 1:160, while sera of 116 normal control animals had no growth inhibiting antibody and none had IHA antibody titers greater than 1:40. M. bovigenitalium was isolated from the milk of three of 26 animals in a fifth herd during an outbreak of mastitis. Growth inhibiting antibodies were demonstrated in the sera of ten of the 26 animals. However, the IHA test detected antibody titers of greater than or equal to 1:160 in 13 animals and of 1:80 in one of the 26 animals. To determine the specificity of the IHA tests, M. agalactiae subsp. bovis and M. bovigenitalium antigens were reacted with rabbit hyperimmune typing sera produced against 12 species of bovine mycoplasmatales. Homologous antisera showed IHA antibody titers of 1:1280 and 1:2560 against M. agalactiae subsp. bovis and M. bovigenitalium respectively, whereas heterologous antisera showed IHA antibody titers of less than or equal to 1:20. Also eight type-specific bovine antisera were reacted with M agalactiae subsp. bovis and M. bovigenitalium antigens in homologous and heterologous tests. Homoogous reactions showed IHA antibody titers greater than or equal to 1:320, whereas heterologous reactions showed IHA titers of less than or equal to 1:20. This IHA test promises to be useful for the detection of bovine mycoplasma antibodies in sera from cattle infected with M. agalactiae subsp. bovis or M. bovigenitalium. Thes test is sensitive, reproducible and specific and the technique is relatively simple and rapid. The antigens were stable for at least seven months.
Vulvitis chronica plasmacellularis or Zoon's vulvitis is a rare benign circumscribed inflammation of the vulvar mucosa. It is found in women ranging in age from 26 to 70 years. Shiny, macular erythematous lesions, which are irregular in shape and sharply marginated are usually observed. The histologic findings show chronic subepithelial dense inflammation composed largely of plasma cells. We here report two cases of vulvitis plasmacellularis with typical clinical manifestations, courses and histopathologic findings.
In a case of acute Reiter's syndrome with severe vulvitis the diagnosis was based on the presence of a vaginal discharge and dysuria, arthritis, conjunctivitis, buccal ulceration, keratodermia blenorrhagica, and HLA B27 tissue-typing antigen. The vulval lesions were similar in appearance to those of circinate vulvitis. The acute histological change were confined to shallow ulceration with an inflammatory infiltration of the subjacent dermis. Coincidential lichen sclerosus et atrophicus was present, which could have been masked by the acute lesions.
Auscultation is considered the critical component of the veterinary clinical examination for the diagnosis of bovine respiratory disease but the accuracy with which adventitious sounds reflect underlying lung pathology remains largely unproven. Modern portable ultrasound machines provide the veterinary practitioner with an inexpensive, non-invasive tool with which to examine the pleural surfaces and superficial lung parenchyma. Simultaneous recording of sounds overlying normal lung and defined pathology allows critical assessment of auscultated sounds in the same animal removing confounding factors such as respiratory rate and thickness of the chest wall (body condition). Twelve cows, referred to the University of Edinburgh Veterinary School, were diagnosed with chronic suppurative pneumonia and enrolled into this prospective study to record and monitor lung sounds, ultrasonographic findings, and response to a standardised antibiotic treatment regimen.
Most cows (8/12) had a normal rectal temperature on presentation but all cows had received antibiotic therapy at some time in the previous two weeks and six animals were receiving antibiotic treatment upon admission. All cattle were tachypnoeic (>40 breaths per minute) with frequent and productive coughing, halitosis, and a purulent nasal discharge most noticeable when the head was lowered. Ultrasonographic examination of the chest readily identified pathological changes consistent with severe lung pathology subsequently confirmed as chronic suppurative pneumonia in four cows at necropsy; eight cows recovered well after antibiotic treatment and were discharged two to six weeks after admission. It proved difficult to differentiate increased audibility of normal lung sounds due to tachypnoea from wheezes; coarse crackles were not commonly heard. In general, sounds were reduced in volume over consolidated lung relative to normal lung tissue situated dorsally. Rumen contraction sounds were commonly transmitted over areas of lung pathology.
Trueperella (formerly Arcanobacterium) pyogenes was isolated from three of four lung tissue samples at necrospy. Treatment with procaine penicillin for 42 consecutive days resulted in marked improvement with return to normal appetite and improvement in body condition in 8 of 12 cows (67%) where lesions did not extend more than 10-15 cm above the level of the olecranon on both sides of the chest.
Ultrasonography; Respiratory disease; Cattle; Auscultation; Diagnosis; Trestment
The genital mycoplasma and ureaplasma flora was compared in 136 dogs with varied reproductive histories. Mycoplasmas were recovered from 88% of vulvovaginal swabs, 85% preputial swabs and 72% semen samples. Isolation rates were slightly higher from dogs that were infertile or had evidence of genital disease but the differences from those that were fertile or clinically normal were statistically significant only in the male. Ureaplasmas were recovered from half the females sampled. Higher, but not statistically significant isolation rates (75%) were made from infertile females with purulent vulvar discharge versus those that were clinically normal and fertile (40%). In the male dog there was a significantly higher incidence of ureaplasmas in the prepuce of infertile animals (69%) than those that were fertile (0%) (p less than or equal to 0.05). Semen isolations although not significantly higher in infertile males, were all made from ejaculates, with subnormal motility, low sperm counts and/or a high percentage of midpiece and tail abnormalities (bent or tightly coiled).
Samples of cervico-vaginal mucus from 633 animals from 110 herds were cultured and yielded the following mycoplasmas: T-strain--88: Mycoplasma bovigenitalium--79, Mycoplasma spp. (Leach Group 7)--7, Acholeplasma laidlawii--4, Mycoplasma bovirhinis--2 and one not typable. Uterine exudates and endometrial scrapings from 80 infertile cows in two herds were examined. Four animals were positive, M. bovigenitalium was isolated three times, A. laidlawii and Mycoplasma arginini once each. Sixty-five normal uterine contents from pregnant cows were examined, one yielded M. bovigenigalium and the same organism was recovered from the fetal kidney. T-strain mycoplasma, M. bovigenitalium and other Mycoplasma spp. appear to be a part of the normal flora of the cervico-vaginal region of clinically normal one and two year old bred heifers in Alberta and Saskatchewan. Although M. arginini was not recovered from the cervico-vaginal region, a single recovery was made from the uterus of an infertile cow.
Ureaplasma diversum has been associated with infertility in the cow experimentally and in naturally occurring cases. However, the pathogenic mechanism is undetermined. The purpose of this study was to determine whether ureaplasmas are pathogenic for bovine morulae in vitro. Twenty-one morulae were recovered from three superovulated, mature, Holstein cows six or seven days postestrus. The embryos were divided into three groups (A,B,C) and incubated for 16 hours at 37 degrees C in humidified air with 10% CO2. Group A was incubated in embryo culture medium alone, Group B was incubated in culture medium with sterile ureaplasma broth added and Group C was incubated in culture medium containing 1.7 X 10(6) colony forming units Ureaplasma diversum strain 2312. After incubation, the morulae were examined using an electron microscope. Structures morphologically identical to U. diversum were present on the outer surface of the zonae pellucidae of all the morulae exposed to the organism and none were present on the unexposed control embryos. No other morphological differences were observed in either the ureaplasma-exposed embryos or the two groups of control embryos. Ureaplasma diversum was isolated from three of the five embryos incubated in culture medium with sterile ureaplasma broth added. These three embryos were recovered from one donor cow which cultured positive for U. diversum from the vulva and flush fluid. This finding suggests that the contaminating organisms entered the embryo culture wells either in the embryo collection medium or attached to the embryos.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Early postpartum (6 weeks) ovarian activity, hormonal profiles, uterine involution, uterine infections, serum electrolytes, glucose, milk acetoacetate and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels were studied in 2 Estonian high producing dairy herd with annual milk production of 7688 (Farm A) and 9425 (Farm B). From each farm 10 cows, with normal calving performance were used. Blood samples for the hormonal (PGF2α-metabolite, progesterone) analyses were withdrawn. On day 25 PP blood serum samples were taken for the evaluation of metabolic/electrolyte status. On the same day estimation of milk acetoacetate values was done. The ultrasound (US) was started on day 7 PP and was performed every 3rd day until the end of experiment. Uterine content, follicular activity and sizes of the largest follicle and corpus luteum were monitored and measured. Vaginal discharge and uterine tone were recorded during the rectal palpation. Each animal in the study was sampled for bacteriological examination using endometrial biopsies once a week. Two types of PGF2α-metabolite patterns were detected: elevated levels during 14 days PP, then decline to the basal level and then a second small elevation at the time of final elimination of the bacteria from the uterus; or elevated levels during first 7 days PP, then decline to the basal level and a second small elevation before the final elimination of bacteria. Endometritis was diagnosed in 5 cows in farm A and in 3 cows in farm B respectively. In farm A, 5 cows out of 10 ovulated during experimental period and in 1 cow cystic ovaries were found. In farm B, 3 cows out of 10 ovulated. In 3 cows cystic ovaries were found. Altogether 40% of cows had their first ovulation during the experimental period. Three cows in farm A and 5 cows in farm B were totally bacteria negative during the experimental period. The most frequent bacteria found were A. pyogenes, Streptococcus spp., E. coli., F. necrophorum and Bacteroides spp. The highest incidence of bacteriological species was found during the first 3 weeks in both farms. All animals were free from bacteria after 5th week PP in farm A and after 4th week in farm B respectively. Serum electrolytes and glucose levels were found to be within the reference limits for the cows in both farms. No significant difference was found between farms (p > 0.05). Low phosphorus levels were found in both farms. Significant difference (p < 0.05) was found in BUN levels between farms. In both farms milk acetoacetate values were staying within the reference range given for the used test (<100 μmol/l). The uterine involution and bacterial elimination in the investigated cows could consider as normal but more profound metabolic studies could be needed to find reasons for later resumption of ovarian activity. Some recommendations to changing feeding regimes and strategies should also be given.
Postpartum cow; milk production; ovarian activity; PGF2α; progesterone; uterine bacteriology; blood electrolytes; glucose; blood urea nitrogen
Bovine mastitis caused by Mycoplasma agalactiae subsp. bovis was first diagnosed in 16 of 55 cows in an Ontario herd in Feburary 1972. A total of 182 of 598 (30.4%) cows from 33 of 64 (51.5%) farms in widely separated areas of the province were culturally positive. Herd incidence varied from 15 to 40% with one closed herd having an incidence of 61%. Four herds were investigated culturally and serologically by the growth inhibition test for 15 months. In the acute phase the organism was present in the milk in extremely high numbers and could still be isolated from a few cows after eight to 12 months. The sera from 89.5% of the animals with clinical mycoplasma mastitis produced a zone of surface "film" and/or colony inhibition and some cows remained positive for six to 12 months. The disease was experimentally reproduced with a pure culture of the organism isolated from the milk of a cow from one of the herds.
The aim of this study was to detect the associations between bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) status of a herd and respiratory disease (BRD) occurrence and reproductive performance in pregnant heifers and cows. The association between management-related factors and higher BRD occurrence was also estimated.
Serum samples, collected from cows and youngstock from 103 dairy cattle herds, were analyzed for antibodies against BHV-1, bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV), bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV), and Mycoplasma bovis. A questionnaire was used to collect data concerning herd management factors and reproductive performance, as well as the occurrence of clinical signs of respiratory disease in the last two years, as evaluated by the veterinarian or farm manager. Multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) and logistic regression analysis were performed to identify and quantify the risk factors.
A low to moderate prevalence (1-49%) of BRSV antibodies among youngstock was associated with a high occurrence of respiratory disease (OR = 6.2, p = 0.010) in cows and in-calf heifers. Employees of the farm may participate in the spread of such disease. Larger herd size, loose-housing of cows, housing youngstock separately from cows until pregnancy, and purchasing new animals were factors possibly related to a high occurrence of respiratory disease symptoms in pregnant heifers and cows. The highest risk of abortions (> 1.3%) and increased insemination index (number of inseminations per pregnancy) (> 1.9) occurred in herds with a moderate prevalence of BHV-1 antibodies (1-49%) in cows.
BHV-1 was not associated with acute respiratory disease in adult dairy cattle, however was significantly related to reproductive performance. BRSV possesses the main role in respiratory disease complex in adult dairy cattle.
Bovine respiratory disease; reproduction; dairy cattle; bovine herpesvirus 1; bovine respiratory syncytial virus
"Haemophilus somnus" has been identified in the etiology of bovine abortion on the basis of the isolation of the organism from aborted fetal and placental tissues. To investigate the role of hematogenous dissemination of "H. somnus" in the pathogenesis of abortion and to monitor the humoral immune response to infection, 19 pregnant cows (gestation ages, 1.4 to 7 months) were challenged intravenously (11 cows) or intrabronchially (8 cows). Five cows challenged intravenously aborted, and one cow challenged intrabronchially resorbed her fetus. "H. somnus" was isolated in large numbers from aborted tissues, and placental lesions were similar to those reported in a field case of "H. somnus" abortion. Antibody titers in serum were measured by the microagglutination test (MAT) and by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). A response to challenge was measured by MAT; it was also measured by ELISA within the immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1), IgG2, and IgM isotypes. On comparison of pre- and postchallenge antibody titers, the greatest and most persistent response was detected within the IgG2 isotype. Prechallenge antibody titers (measured by MAT and by IgG2 ELISA) were lower in animals that aborted than in normal calving animals, indicating that IgG2 antibody may have a role in limiting hematogenous dissemination of "H. somnus."
In order to characterize the humoral and cellular immune responses to bovine mammary protothecosis, serum and whey samples obtained from 72 dairy cows assigned to four different clinical stages of infection were examined for specific antibodies by indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay techniques. Milk samples were analyzed for the total numbers of excreted algal cells and somatic cells. After characterization of the course of immune induction in bovine protothecal mastitis, a long-term sentinel study was performed in an affected herd in order to investigate disease progression. A total of 61 dairy cows with protothecal mastitis were examined for shedding of algae cells and for local immune responses three times in 6-month intervals. During acute and chronic stages of protothecosis, significantly elevated specific antibody activities in sera were detected. A strong correlation of whey immunoglobulin A (IgA) and whey IgG1 antibody activity with the total counts of somatic cells in milk was observed, whereas only a weak correlation of whey IgA and whey IgG1 concentrations to the number of algal cells excreted with the milk was seen. Our results from the sentinel long-term study of infected cows revealed that 70.5% of the persistently infected animals were continuously shedding the pathogen. About 4.9% of the animals showed an intermittent shedding, whereas 18% of the cows were tested culturally negative throughout the study. It can be assumed that Prototheca zopfii mastitis in dairy cows is maintained on the herd level by subclinically infected alga-shedding cows.
This is the first study describing an experimental mastitis model using transgenic cows expressing recombinant human lactoferrin (rhLf) in their milk. The aim of the study was to investigate the concentrations in milk and protective effects of bovine and recombinant human lactoferrin in experimental Escherichia coli mastitis. Experimental intramammary infection was induced in one udder quarter of seven first-lactating rhLf-transgenic cows and six normal cows, using an E. coli strain isolated from cows with clinical mastitis and known to be susceptible to Lf in vitro. Clinical signs were recorded during the experimental period, concentrations of human and bovine Lf and indicators of inflammation and bacterial counts were determined for milk, and concentrations of acute-phase proteins and tumor necrosis factor alpha were determined for sera and milk. Serum cortisol and blood hematological and biochemical parameters were also determined. Expression levels of rhLf in the milk of transgenic cows remained constant throughout the experiment (mean, 2.9 mg/ml). The high Lf concentrations in the milk of transgenic cows did not protect them from intramammary infection. All cows became infected and developed clinical mastitis. The rhLf-transgenic cows showed milder systemic signs and lower serum cortisol and haptoglobin concentrations than did controls. This may be explained by lipopolysaccharide-neutralizing and immunomodulatory effects of the high Lf concentrations in their milk. However, Lf does not seem to be a very efficient protein for genetic engineering to enhance the mastitis resistance of dairy cows.
In a large herd of dairy cattle and young stock the bacteriological examination of 109 cases of abortion which included a relatively thorough study of the fetus and a study of the membranes, or swabs from the uterus whenever obtainable, gave the following results. 62, or 57 per cent, were associated with Bacillus abortus. 26, or 23.8 per cent, were associated with spirilla. 2, or 1.8 per cent, were associated with Bacillus pyogenes. 19, or 17.4 per cent, were either sterile or else the digestive and respiratory tracts had been invaded during or after birth with miscellaneous bacteria. Bacillus abortus was absent according to cultures and animal tests. Such a relatively large proportion of cases of abortion without Bacillus abortus as the inciting agent is noteworthy. In general Bacillus abortus was associated with first pregnancies. Its presence diminished rapidly in frequency in later pregnancies. Assuming in a general way that purchased cows coming from small herds were free from any immunity and that their first pregnancy in the new herd is equivalent to that of a native heifer and may be counted as the first, we have Bacillus abortus associated with the first pregnancy in 42, with the second in 14, with the third in 5, and with the fourth in 1. Spirilla were distributed as follows: (a) in purchased cows, first pregnancy, 6; second pregnancy, 9; third pregnancy, 5; and fourth pregnancy, 3; (b) in native cows, first pregnancy, 0; third pregnancy, 1; sixth pregnancy, 1; and eighth pregnancy) 1. The relation of infection with spirilla to acquired immunity is not clear and more data from large herds are needed to define both etiological and immunological bearings of the spirilla. Thus far spirilla have not been encountered in native heifers of the herd giving birth the first time. A tentative explanation to be offered is that the young stock is kept segregated from the older and purchased cows until shortly before calving. The occasional discharge of a fetus among the young stock in pasture tends to keep up the disease due to Bacillus abortus. Later on association with older cows brings about infection with spirilla (Vibrio fetus) and more rarely with other possible agencies of fetal disease. On the other hand, abortions may occur among the pastured stock from time to time and remain unrecognized. Not until both groups of animals are subjected to the same daily scrutiny will it be possible to affirm that abortion associated with spirilla does or does not occur among young stock.
Ureaplasma urealyticum respiratory tract colonization in preterm infants has been associated with a high incidence of pneumonia and the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. However, study of this human pathogen has been hampered by the absence of animal models. We have developed the first juvenile mouse model of Ureaplasma pneumonia and characterized the histopathology during the month following inoculation. C3H/HeN mice were inoculated intratracheally with a mouse-adapted clinical Ureaplasma isolate (biovar 2) or sham inoculated with 10B broth. Culture of lung homogenates and PCR of DNA from bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BAL) confirmed the presence of Ureaplasma in 100% of inoculated animals at 1 day, 60% at 2 days, 50% at 3 days, and 25% at 7 and 14 days. Ureaplasma was undetectable 28 days postinoculation. There were marked changes in BAL and interstitial-cell composition with increased number of polymorphonuclear leukocytes 1 to 2 days and 14 days postinoculation and macrophages at 2 and 14 days postinoculation. The Ureaplasma infection caused a persistent focal loss of airway ciliated epithelium and a mild increase in interstitial cellularity. There were no differences in BAL protein concentration during the first 28 days, suggesting that pulmonary vascular endothelial barrier integrity remained intact. Comparison of BAL cytokine and chemokine concentrations revealed low levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) at 3 days and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 at 7 days in Ureaplasma-infected mice but a trend toward increased TNF-α at 14 days and increased granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-10 at 28 days. These data suggest that Ureaplasma alone may cause limited inflammation and minimal tissue injury in the early phase of infection but may promote a mild chronic inflammatory response in the later phase of infection (days 14 to 28), similar to the process that occurs in human newborns.
Infection, lesions and clinical significance of Acheloplasmas, Mycoplasma bovis and Mycoplasma bovigenitalium in genital disease of cattle are described. A more detailed account is given of ureaplasma infections. Acute and chronic forms of granular vulvitis in both field and experimental disease are described as well as the role of the organism in abortion.
Recovery rates of ureaplasma and mycoplasma from semen and preputial washings in bulls are outlined and their significance in disease is discussed. There are problems in differentiating pathogenic from nonpathogenic isolates. Methods are being developed to treat semen for these organisms.
This paper provides a concise summary of clinical and microbiological aspects of bovine genital mycoplasmosis.
Ureaplasma urealyticum (UUR) and Ureaplasma parvum (UPA) are sexually transmitted bacteria among humans implicated in a variety of disease states including but not limited to: nongonococcal urethritis, infertility, adverse pregnancy outcomes, chorioamnionitis, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia in neonates. There are 10 distinct serotypes of UUR and 4 of UPA. Efforts to determine whether difference in pathogenic potential exists at the ureaplasma serovar level have been hampered by limitations of antibody-based typing methods, multiple cross-reactions and poor discriminating capacity in clinical samples containing two or more serovars.
We determined the genome sequences of the American Type Culture Collection (ATCC) type strains of all UUR and UPA serovars as well as four clinical isolates of UUR for which we were not able to determine serovar designation. UPA serovars had 0.75−0.78 Mbp genomes and UUR serovars were 0.84−0.95 Mbp. The original classification of ureaplasma isolates into distinct serovars was largely based on differences in the major ureaplasma surface antigen called the multiple banded antigen (MBA) and reactions of human and animal sera to the organisms. Whole genome analysis of the 14 serovars and the 4 clinical isolates showed the mba gene was part of a large superfamily, which is a phase variable gene system, and that some serovars have identical sets of mba genes. Most of the differences among serovars are hypothetical genes, and in general the two species and 14 serovars are extremely similar at the genome level.
Comparative genome analysis suggests UUR is more capable of acquiring genes horizontally, which may contribute to its greater virulence for some conditions. The overwhelming evidence of extensive horizontal gene transfer among these organisms from our previous studies combined with our comparative analysis indicates that ureaplasmas exist as quasi-species rather than as stable serovars in their native environment. Therefore, differential pathogenicity and clinical outcome of a ureaplasmal infection is most likely not on the serovar level, but rather may be due to the presence or absence of potential pathogenicity factors in an individual ureaplasma clinical isolate and/or patient to patient differences in terms of autoimmunity and microbiome.
A bovine-specific cDNA microarray system was used to compare gene expression profiles of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from control uninfected (n = 4) and Johne's disease-positive (n = 6) Holstein cows. Microarray experiments were designed so that for each animal, a direct comparison was made between PBMCs stimulated in vitro with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis and PBMCs stimulated with phosphate-buffered saline (nil-stimulated PBMCs). As expected, M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis stimulation of infected cow PBMCs enhanced expression of gamma interferon transcripts. In addition, expression of 15 other genes was significantly affected (>1.25-fold change; P < 0.05) by in vitro stimulation with M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis. Similar treatment of control cow PBMCs with M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis resulted in significant changes in expression of 13 genes, only 2 of which were also affected in PBMCs from the infected cow PBMCs. To compare gene expression patterns in the two cow infection groups (infected cows and uninfected cows), a mixed-model analysis was performed with the microarray data. This analysis indicated that there were major differences in the gene expression patterns between cells isolated from the two groups of cows, regardless of in vitro stimulation. A total of 86 genes were significantly differentially expressed (P < 0.01) in M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis-stimulated PBMCs from infected cows compared to expression in similarly treated PBMCs from control cows. Surprisingly, a larger number of genes (110 genes) were also found to be significantly differentially expressed (P < 0.01) in nil-stimulated cells from the two infection groups. The expression patterns of selected genes were substantiated by quantitative real-time reverse transcriptase PCR. Flow cytometric analysis indicated that there were no gross differences in the relative populations of major immune cell types in PBMCs from infected and control cows. Thus, data presented in this report indicate that the gene expression program of PBMCs from M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis-infected cows is inherently different from that of cells from control uninfected cows.
Protothecosis is a severe form of mastitis in cattle that is caused by colorless algae of the genus Prototheca. So far, no suitable serological test for the identification of infected animals is available for routine diagnosis. In this study an indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the identification of infected cows and for discriminating among infected cows at various clinical stages was developed. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) in serum and IgA and IgG1 in whey were used as antibody isotypes. The ELISA was evaluated using serum and whey from animals at different clinical stages of infection. A total of 12 cows with acute clinical manifestation of protothecal mastitis, 22 cows with clinical signs of chronic mastitis, 40 Prototheca zopfii-negative cows, and 18 cows with chronic clinical signs and earlier cultures positive for P. zopfii but with presently negative culturing results were investigated. A sensitivity of 96% and a specificity of 94% were calculated for the ELISA based on IgA levels. Intra-assay and interassay variations were calculated to be 6.08 and 6.32%, respectively. Based on these data, this ELISA was found to be suitable for discrimination between infected and uninfected animals and might therefore be useful for screening affected herds.
A clinical trial was conducted to investigate the animal safety of a progesterone-releasing intravaginal device (PRID). Anestrus cows at a mean of 63 ± 3.5 d in milk were randomly assigned to an ovulation-synchronization protocol that included placement of either a PRID or a placebo intravaginal device (PID) or no such treatment. At enrolment and at device removal 7 d later, blood samples were collected. The outcomes of interest included the vaginal reaction to the device, the vaginal mucosal integrity, and the results of bacterial culture of swabs of the vaginal mucosa. In addition, the leukocyte and haptoglobin responses were measured. Although only 5% of the PRID-treated animals compared with 19% of the PID-treated animals had a copious purulent vaginal discharge at the time of device removal, there was no significant difference in the proportions; furthermore, there was no evidence of vaginal mucosal damage associated with either device. The total blood leukocyte count was significantly lower in both the PRID-treated cows and the PID-treated cows after device removal compared with the start of treatment (P < 0.05) and compared with no treatment (P < 0.001); there was no difference in leukocyte response between the 2 device-treated groups. The decrease in leukocyte count was attributed to a significant reduction in the numbers of circulating neutrophils and lymphocytes, a pattern consistent with the luteal phase of the bovine estrus cycle. There was no significant difference in the circulating haptoglobin concentration between the 3 groups of cows. Culture revealed commensal bacterial growth in the vagina of all the cows.
A bovine-specific cDNA microarray system containing 721 unique leukocyte expressed sequence tags (ESTs) and amplicons representing known genes was used to compare gene expression profiles of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from clinical and subclinical Johne's disease-positive Holstein cows (n = 2 per group). Stimulation of PBMCs from clinically infected cows with Mycobacterium paratuberculosis tended to decrease expression of 83 genes (fold change, >1.5). Of these 83 genes, 16 displayed significant down regulation across both clinical cows (P < 0.1), including genes encoding microspherule protein 1, fibroblast growth factor, and the Lyn B protein kinase. Only eight genes from PBMCs of clinically infected cows exhibited a modest up regulation following stimulation with M. paratuberculosis, including those encoding bovine CD40L, gamma interferon, interleukin-10 (IL-10), and tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinases (TIMP) 4. In contrast, stimulation of PBMCs from subclinically infected cows with M. paratuberculosis tended to up regulate expression of 71 genes representing 68 unique transcripts. Of these, 11 genes showed significant up regulation (fold change, >1.5; P < 0.1) across both animals, including those encoding bovine CD40L, several matrix metalloproteinases, and SPARC (secreted protein, acidic and rich in cystine). Repression of gene expression was also observed in PBMCs from the subclinical cows, with 16 genes being significantly down regulated (fold change, >1.5; P < 0.1) across both animals, including those encoding the bovine orthologs of cytochrome oxidase subunit III, IL-1 receptor type I, and fibrinogen-like 2 protein. Only one clone, representing an unknown bovine EST, was similarly down regulated in PBMCs from both the clinical and subclinical cows. Thus, the most prominent change induced by exposure of PBMCs from clinical cows to M. paratuberculosis in vitro tended to be repression of gene expression, while changes in similarly treated PBMCs from subclinical cows was balanced between gene activation and repression. Comparison of gene expression profiles between PBMCs from clinical and uninfected (control) cows stimulated with the general mitogen concanavalin A were highly similar (overall r = 0.84), suggesting that M. paratuberculosis-induced gene repression in clinically infected cow PBMCs was not due to a general failure of the immune response in these animals.