Two field isolates of Ureaplasma diversum spp. were used to infect heifers at the time of insemination in a preliminary study to observe the effect of infection on early pregnancy. M84-14c-1 was a field isolate from a bull's prepuce typed by immunofluorescence to be similar to U. diversum strain T-44 (Group C). M84-477c-4 was a field isolate from bovine semen typed by immunofluorescence to be similar to U. diversum strain T-288 (Group A). All three heifers infected with M84-477c-4 had a mild granular vulvitis at some time during the trial. None was pregnant when slaughtered 27 days after infection. The result of infection with M84-14c-1, a preputial isolate, was not consistent. One heifer had no infection and a normal pregnancy, one heifer was infected with an abnormal pregnancy, and one heifer was open but ureaplasmas were not detected until day 17 of the trial.
Calmodulin (CAM) acts as an intracellular regulator of calcium, an important mediator of many cell processes. We used the CAM assay and electron microscopy to investigate the effects of Ureaplasma diversum on bovine oviductal explants obtained aseptically from slaughtered cows. A stock suspension of U. diversum (treated specimens) and sterile broth (controls) was added to replicates of cultured explants and incubated at 38 degrees C in an atmosphere of 5.5% CO2 for 48 hours. Explants were examined for ciliary activity, extracellular CAM loss, and for histological and ultrastructural changes. Explants and their culture media were examined for changes in CAM concentration. All experiments were replicated three times. In addition, U. diversum, medium and broth were assayed for CAM content. The concentrations of CAM in explants and media changed significantly (p < 0.05) in samples which were inoculated with U. diversum when compared to controls. The controls and infected specimens did not differ histologically or ultrastructurally, but U. diversum was seen to be closely associated with infected explant tissue. In view of this close affinity it is assumed the loss of CAM from the oviductal cells was causally related, but this was not proven. The failure to show cell membrane injury on light and electron microscopic examination was probably related to the short duration of the experiment and may only point out the sensitivity of the CAM assay in detecting early cell membrane injury. Compromise in characteristics of the medium to support both, the viability of oviductal cells and U. diversum limited the experimental time to 48 hours.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
The object of this study was to develop a prefixation protein A gold labelling technique for Ureaplasma diversum and to apply this to bovine embryos. Sixteen hour cultures of Ureaplasma diversum strain 2312 were incubated with either specific antiserum or nonimmune serum, followed by exposure to protein A gold and negative staining. The ureaplasmas which were incubated with specific antiserum were labelled with gold particles while those ureaplasmas which were incubated with nonimmune serum were not labelled. Twenty-three unhatched, day 7 bovine embryos were then incubated in either embryo culture medium (ECM) alone, ECM with sterile ureaplasma broth added or ECM with 1.7 X 10(6) colony forming units of Ureaplasma diversum strain 2312 per embryo. After 16 hours, the embryos were washed twice and incubated with either specific antiserum or nonimmune serum. The embryos were then incubated with medium containing protein A gold and examined by electron microscopy. No ureaplasmas were identified on the zona pellucida of the control embryos. Ureaplasmas were identified on the outer surface of the zona pellucida of 13 of the 17 embryos which had been exposed to the organism. Of these, the embryos which were incubated with specific antiserum had labelled ureaplasmas while the embryos which were incubated with nonimmune serum had unlabelled ureaplasmas on the zona pellucida. It was concluded that the protein A gold method was a suitable technique for the identification of ureaplasmas in EM preparations. The presence of ureaplasmas on the outer surface of the bovine zona pellucida following in vitro exposure to the organism was confirmed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
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)
Ureaplasma diversum has been associated with infertility in cows. In bulls, this mollicute colonizes the prepuce and distal portion of the urethra and may infect sperm cells. The aim of this study is to analyze in vitro interaction of U. diversum isolates and ATCC strains with bovine spermatozoids. The interactions were observed by confocal microscopy and the gentamycin internalization assay.
U. diversum were able to adhere to and invade spermatozoids after 30 min of infection. The gentamicin resistance assay confirmed the intracellularity and survival of U. diversum in bovine spermatozoids.
The intracellular nature of bovine ureaplasma identifies a new difficulty to control the reproductive of these animals.
Ureaplasma diversum; bovine spermatozoid; invasion; confocal microscopy
We measured antibody levels in serum and cervicovaginal mucus (CVM) of four heifers vaccinated with two inoculations of killed Ureaplasma diversum strain 2312 in incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA) two weeks apart, and six heifers given a placebo. Two weeks later, the vaccinates and four placebo heifers, were challenged by intravaginal inoculation with 6.4 x 10(8) colony-forming units of the homologous U. diversum strain. The remaining two placebo heifers served as unvaccinated, unchallenged controls. Antibody levels in serum and CVM of all heifers were determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Vaccination stimulated specific IgG1 and IgG2 responses in serum and CVM but only a slight IgM and no IgA response. In both vaccinate and placebo heifers, subsequent intravaginal challenge resulted in a granular vulvitis (GV) with a predominant IgA response in the CVM. The GV gradually subsided during the 35 day observation period but ureaplasmas were consistently demonstrated by culture. We concluded that subcutaneous vaccination stimulated a specific, albeit nonprotective, IgG response in serum and CVM. In contrast, vaginal infection primarily induced a mucosal IgA response.
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.
Twenty beef heifers were randomly assigned to five equal groups and vaccinated: Group 1--in vaginal submucosa (VM) with Ureaplasma diversum ultrasonicated whole cells (WC) in complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA); Group 2--in VM with U. diversum cell membranes (CM) in CFA; Group 3--subcutaneously (SC) with CM in CFA; Group 4--in VM with CM alone; and Group 5--in VM with phosphate buffered saline (PBS) in CFA. A second vaccination with the same antigens in incomplete Freund's adjuvant was given after four weeks, and three weeks later, all heifers were challenged intravaginally with 3.6 x 10(7) colony-forming units (CFU) of U. diversum strain 2312. Immunoglobulins that reacted with U. diversum were measured in serum and cervicovaginal mucus (CVM) by an enzyme-linked-immunosorbent assay. In groups 1 and 2, vaccination by the VM route with WC or CM antigens, stimulated high levels of U. diversum-reactive IgG1 and IgG2 antibodies in serum as well as CVM, but a low IgA response only in CVM. In group 4, VM vaccination with CM (no adjuvant) elicited a minimal IgG1 and IgG2 response in serum and CVM. In group 3, SC vaccination with CM antigen stimulated high IgG1 and IgG2 reactivity in both serum and CVM, but no IgA reactivity. Very little IgM reactivity was detected in the four vaccinated groups. Intravaginal challenge resulted in characteristic granular vulvitis in all vaccinated and control heifers, with all animals remaining culture-positive for the 35 day observation period. The infection stimulated a marked increase in the specific IgA response in CVM of the three groups vaccinated with either, adjuvanted antigen.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Bovine epithelial and stromal cells of the endometrium were inoculated with Ureaplasma diversum, pathogenic strain 2312, at 10(6) or 10(3) color-changing units (ccu)/ml in the presence of 1% fetal bovine serum (depleted of steroids by dextran-charcoal treatment) to assess the effect of infection on prostaglandin biosynthesis. When the inoculum of U. diversum was 10(6) ccu/ml, the concentration of U. diversum in the culture medium decreased with time. U. diversum was found on the epithelial and stromal cell monolayers, increasing in titer 100-fold, indicating that attachment and eventually growth occurred. When the inoculum was 10(3) ccu/ml, the titer of U. diversum remained the same or increased in the supernatant and increased on epithelial and stromal cells. The effect of infection was evaluated by measurement of the primary prostaglandin produced by each cell type, prostaglandin F2a for epithelial cells and prostaglandin E2 for stromal cells. Infection with U. diversum significantly decreased prostaglandin F2a accumulation, by 44.7% +/- 6.0% at 10(6) ccu/ml (P < or = 0.005) and 15.8% +/- 5.3% at 10(3) ccu/ml (P < or = 0.05) in epithelial cells. Prostaglandin E2 accumulation by stromal cells was decreased by 34.0% +/- 4.0% at 10(6) ccu/ml (P < or = 0.001) and by 13.5% +/- 2.7% at 10(3) ccu/ml (P < or = 0.005). Infection with 10(6) ccu/ml did not alter endometrial cell viability, as shown by protein measurement, trypan blue dye exclusion, and cell plating efficiency tests. Thus, alterations in prostaglandin production were not due to cell deterioration. These observations suggest that U. diversum can alter prostaglandin E2 and prostaglandin F2a patterns in primary cultures of bovine endometrial cells without affecting cell viability.
This study investigated the effects of controlled reinfection on fertility of cattle naturally preexposed to Chlamydophila abortus. All animals had high prechallenge levels of immunoglobulin M (IgM), IgG, IgG1, and IgG2 serum antibodies against ruminant C. abortus in a chemiluminescent enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Twenty virgin heifers were estrus synchronized with prostaglandin F2, artificially inseminated 2 to 3 days later, and challenged immediately by intrauterine administration of 0, 104, 105, 106, or 108 inclusion-forming units (IFU) of C. abortus. Ten heifers were estrus synchronized, inseminated, and uterine challenged 2 weeks later. These animals were also indirectly exposed to C. abortus infection (cohort challenged) by contact with their previously challenged cohorts. Pregnancy was determined by rectal palpation 42 days after insemination. All anti-C. abortus antibody isotypes increased in heifers following uterine challenge with 108 IFU. A total of 11, 83, 50, 66, and 0% of heifers were pregnant after uterine challenge with 0, 104, 105, 106, and 108 IFU of C. abortus, respectively. A total of 50 and 65% of heifers were pregnant with and without cohort challenge, respectively. Uterine inoculum dose and cohort challenge (or, alternatively, a negative pregnancy outcome [infertility]) correlated highly significantly with a rise in postchallenge anti-C. abortus IgM levels over prechallenge levels. Logistic regression modeled fertility, with uterine challenge dose and cohort challenge or prechallenge IgM as predictors (P < 0.05). The models predict that the uterine C. abortus inoculum causing infertility is 8.5-fold higher for heifers without cohort exposure and 17-fold higher for heifers with high IgM levels than for heifers with cohort exposure or with low IgM levels.
The purpose of this study was to determine the susceptibility of various strains of Mycoplasma bovis, Mycoplasma dispar, and Ureaplasma diversum, which are prevalent causes of pneumonia in calves, to 16 antimicrobial agents in vitro. The MICs of the antimicrobial agents were determined by a serial broth dilution method for 16 field strains and the type strain of M. bovis, for 19 field strains and the type strain of M. dispar, and for 17 field strains of U. diversum. Final MICs for M. bovis and M. dispar were read after 7 days and final MICs for U. diversum after 1 to 2 days. All strains tested were susceptible to tylosin, kitasamycin, and tiamulin but were resistant to nifuroquine and streptomycin. Most strains of U. diversum were intermediately susceptible to oxytetracycline but fully susceptible to chlortetracycline; most strains of M. bovis and M. dispar, however, were resistant to both agents. Strains of M. dispar and U. diversum were susceptible to doxycycline and minocycline, but strains of M. bovis were only intermediately susceptible. Susceptibility or resistance to chloramphenicol, spiramycin, spectinomycin, lincomycin, or enrofloxacin depended on the species but was not equal for the three species. The type strains of M. bovis and M. dispar were more susceptible to various antimicrobial agents, including tetracyclines, than the field strains. This finding might indicate that M. bovis and M. dispar strains are becoming resistant to these agents. Antimicrobial agents that are effective in vitro against all three mycoplasma species can be considered for treating mycoplasma infections in pneumonic calves. Therefore, tylosin, kitasamycin, and tiamulin may be preferred over oxytetracycline and chlortetracycline.
Three species of mycoplasma have been established as being of importance as causes of pneumonia in housed calves, based on pathogenicity studies and frequency of association with the disease. These three species are Mycoplasma bovis, M. dispar, and Ureaplasma diversum. M. bovis is the most pathogenic of these species but the disease outbreaks with which it is associated are sporadic. M. dispar is regularly isolated from pneumonic calves but is also found causing mild superficial and asymptomatic infections of the respiratory mucosa. The bovine ureaplasmas are serologically complex. They are distinct from ureaplasmas isolated from other non-ruminants by PAGE analysis, G + C content of DNA, and serology. A second species within the genus ureaplasma has been proposed to accommodate the bovine ureaplasmas, U. diversum. Control of mycoplasma respiratory infections of cattle based on immunization might be possible. Calves have been immunized against M. bovis and immunity has been related to antibody in the lung. M. dispar appears less immunogenic in calves than M. bovis and this may contribute to its pathogenicity.
Hormonal asynchronies during oestrus, related to the presence of suprabasal plasma-progesterone (P4) concentrations and a delayed ovulation, interfere with the fertility of repeat-breeder heifers (RBH). Since tubal dysfunction can occur in connection with hormonal asynchronies and constrained availability of fertile spermatozoa at the time of ovulation, the present study tested the hypothesis that frequent sperm deposition from onset of oestrus to ovulation may improve pregnancy rates in RBH. Five RBH and five virgin heifers (VH; controls) were repeatedly artificially inseminated (AI) at 6 h intervals from onset of oestrus to spontaneous ovulation. Hormone analyses revealed suprabasal P4 concentrations and a delay in the occurrence of the luteinising hormone (LH) surge, but a normal cortisol profile in RBH. Compared with controls, RBH presented longer interval from onset of oestrus to ovulation, and therefore, received more AIs. Pregnancy rates in RBH reached control levels (60%; NS), indicating that the hypothesis might be correct. Pregnancy rates in VH were below the expected range, presumably attributed to a deleterious influence of the frequent handling. The study suggests that pregnancy rates can be improved in RBH by frequent AI in relation to spontaneous ovulation. However, this practice of repeated manipulations, while seeming not to show adverse effects, lacks practicality for routine use.
Pregnancy rates; Repeat-breeder; Heifer; AI; Oestrus
Seven experiments were done in feedlot heifers to determine the importance of various degrees of narrowness of the sperm head on fertility in feedlot heifers. Frozen semen used in these experiments was selected to be normal in all respects except for very high numbers of a single specific type of sperm head aberration. Semen with the sperm aberration in question and control semen were selected to be as similar as possible in dose and postthaw viability so that differences in fertility would be attributable to the morphological variant under study. Fertilization rates were determined by collecting embryos from the reproductive tracts of superovulated heifers which had been slaughtered seven days after insemination. Pregnancy rates and rates of embryonic loss were studied in estrus-synchronized heifers by repeated transrectal ultrasound examinations from day 22 to day 55 after insemination. Reproductive tracts were collected and examined after slaughter at 60 days postinsemination.
The combined results of these experiments show that a moderate degree of sperm head narrowness, in the absence of other seminal signs of a disturbance of spermatogenesis, is not detrimental to fertility. However, extreme narrowness of the postacrosomal region of the sperm head of most spermatozoa, as was found in two bulls without other seminal signs of a disturbance of spermatogenesis, resulted in significantly reduced fertility. The data suggest that, although a decision between normal and abnormal sperm morphology may contain a degree of subjectivity, of the defects studied only sperm with extreme narrowness of the post-acrosomal region are likely to reduce fertility.
Ureaplasma diversum is a pathogen in the bovine reproductive tract. The objective of the research was to study interactions with macrophages and lymphocytes which might elucidate aspects of pathogenetic mechanisms of this organism. We studied the activation of murine macrophages of C3H/HeN (LPS-responder) and C3H/HeJ (LPS-low-responder) genotype for TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-1 and nitric oxide production and blastogenic response of C3H/HeJ splenocytes after Ureaplasma diversum stimulation. Live and heat-killed U. diversum induced TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-1 in peritoneal macrophage cultures of both C3H/HeN and C3H/HeJ mice in a dose dependent manner. Interferon-gamma modulated the cytokine production, by increasing the production of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and nitric oxide, but IL-1 secretion was only enhanced in C3H/HeJ macrophages stimulated by live ureaplasmas. Supernatant of U. diversum sonicate was mitogenic for murine spleen lymphocytes. The blastogenic response was dose dependent, and stimulation with both U. diversum and Concanavalin A seemed to have an additive effect. These results suggest that U. diversum, similar to other mycoplasmas, activates murine macrophages and lymphoid cells. The studies should be repeated with bovine cells in order to elucidate pathogenetic aspects of inflammation in cattle caused by U. diversum.
Infertility and subfertility are important and pervasive reproductive problems in both domestic animals and humans. The majority of embryonic loss occurs during the first three weeks of pregnancy in cattle and women due, in part, to inadequate endometrial receptivity for support of embryo implantation. To identify heifers of contrasting fertility, serial rounds of artificial insemination (AI) were conducted in 201 synchronized crossbred beef heifers. The heifers were then fertility classified based on number of pregnancies detected on day 35 in four AI opportunities. Heifers, classified as having high fertility, subfertility or infertility, were selected for further study. The fertility-classified heifers were superovulated and flushed, and the recovered embryos were graded and then transferred to synchronized recipients. Quantity of embryos recovered per flush, embryo quality, and subsequent recipient pregnancy rates did not differ by fertility classification. Two in vivo-produced bovine embryos (stage 4 or 5, grade 1 or 2) were then transferred into each heifer on day 7 post-estrus. Pregnancy rates were greater in high fertility than lower fertility heifers when heifers were used as embryo recipients. The reproductive tracts of the classified heifers were obtained on day 14 of the estrous cycle. No obvious morphological differences in reproductive tract structures and histology of the uterus were observed in the heifers. Microarray analysis revealed differences in the endometrial transcriptome based on fertility classification. A genome-wide association study, based on SNP genotyping, detected 7 moderate associations with fertility across 6 different chromosomes. Collectively, these studies support the idea that innate differences in uterine function underlie fertility and early pregnancy loss in ruminants. Cattle with defined early pregnancy success or loss is useful to elucidate the complex biological and genetic mechanisms governing endometrial receptivity and uterine competency for pregnancy.
The indirect immunoperoxidase test using small, square filter paper was used for rapid identification of mycoplasmas. Colonies of type strains of 22 mycoplasma species, 3 acholeplasma species, and three Ureaplasma diversum serogroups were stained by this test with high sensitivity and specificity. All of 49 isolates from bovine materials and cell cultures were easily identified by this test, and the results agreed with those obtained by growth inhibition test. Use of filter paper made it possible to add different kinds of antisera or conjugates to the same agar plate simultaneously and also to save antiserum and conjugate. This test proved to be a simple and useful technique for rapid identification of many mycoplasma species grown on agar medium.
Bull semen is commonly contaminated with mycoplasmas. To determine the source of contamination, semen and the genital tracts of 45 artificial insemination bulls were cultured for these organisms. The results indicate that mycoplasmas colonize the prepuce and the distal part of the urethra. Only rarely were they found in the ampullae or seminal vesicles. In 92% of the bulls with contaminated semen the same Mycoplasma species or Ureaplasma diversum was isolated from the prepuce and urethral orifice as was found in the semen. This suggests that the prepuce and distal urethra is the source of contamination. Colonization of the genital tracts with Mycoplasmas or U. diversum was not associated with histological changes.
Mycoplasma; ureaplasma; genital tract; semen; artificial insemination; microbial colonization
Rosaramicin, an agent shown to be effective in vitro against ureaplasma of bovine origin was tested as an additive to bovine semen extender. Although some reduction in semen quality occurred it was still deemed satisfactory for use. In a test involving 41 cows inseminated once at estrus with rosaramicin-treated semen (162 mcg/mL) the nonreturn rate was 24% compared to a calculated average for this semen of 63% (n = 3310). The effect of centrifugation, time and temperature was examined in vitro using a combination of 150 mcg of lincomycin, 300 mcg of spectinomycin and 450 mcg of tylosin against ten strains of bovine ureaplasma. This combination has ureaplasmacidal activity and is suggested as an additive to semen extenders for the control of ureaplasma.
Studies were performed to characterize the effects of ureaplasmas in HeLa, 3T6, and CV-1 cell cultures. The ureaplasmas studied were human Ureaplasma urealyticum T960 (serotype VIII), bovine U. diversum T95, simian strain T167-2, ovine strain 1202, canine strain D1M-C, and feline strains 382 and FT2-B. FT2-B was the only ureaplasma to grow in the cell free culture medium, Dulbecco modified Eagle-Earle medium containing 10% fetal bovine serum. The growth pattern of the ureaplasmas varied in the different cell cultures, but each strain grew in at least two of the cell cultures, suggesting a requirement for a product of the cell culture and for low concentrations of urea. When growth occurred, organisms grew to concentrations that approached, but did not equal, those observed in 10B broth. Most, but not all, ureaplasmas grew quickly, reaching peak titers 2 days after infection. Canine strain D1M-C did not grow in 3T6, but showed rapid growth in HeLa and CV-1 cells, killing both cultures, In some systems, e.g., U. urealyticum T960 and simian strain T167-2, the infection persisted, and ureaplasmas could be recovered from cell cultures four passages after infection, when studies were terminated. The cell culture ureaplasmas grew on T agar, but not on mycoplasma agar medium.
Two experiments were done to demonstrate whether the presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa in bovine semen could affect fertilization and/or early embryonic development. In the first experiment, superovulated heifers were inseminated with semen naturally contaminated with P. aeruginosa (ADRI 102) or clean semen and seven day-old embryos were collected nonsurgically. The endometrium of treated heifers appeared more sensitive to the flush procedures. In experiment 2, heifers were inseminated at synchronized estrus with semen experimentally contaminated with P. aeruginosa (ADRI 102) and processed in the same way as commercial semen with antibiotics (gentamicin, lincomycin, spectinomycin and tylosin) or processed without antibiotics added. Embryos were recovered at slaughter seven days later. In general, there was no significant reduction in fertility or development of embryos in vitro as a result of relatively high numbers of P. aeruginosa in bovine semen.
Epidemiologic studies show a strong association between Ureaplasmas and urogenital tract disease in humans. Since healthy humans can be colonized with Ureaplasmas, its role as a pathogen remains controversial. In order to begin to define the role of the host in disease, we developed a rodent model of urinary tract infection (UTI) using Fischer 344 (F344) rats. Animals were inoculated with sterile broth, 101, 103, 105, 107, or 109 log CFU of a rat-adapted strain of Ureaplasma parvum.
Infected animals exhibited two distinct profiles, asymptomatic UTI and UTI complicated with struvite urolithiasis. Inoculum dose of U. parvum affected the incidence of UTI, and 50% to 57% of animals inoculated with ≥ 107 CFU of U. parvum remained infected (p < 0.04). However, inoculum dose did not influence immune response to U. parvum. Asymptomatic UTI was characterized by a minimal immune response that was predominantly monocytic and lymphocytic, with limited lesions, and elevated urinary levels of IFN-γ, IL-18 and MCP-1 (P ≤ 0.02). UTI complicated with struvite formation was characterized by an exaggerated immune response that was mostly neutrophilic (P ≤ 0.0001), with lesions that showed extensive uroepithelial hyperplasia (P ≤ 0.0001), and a predominance of IL-1α, IL-1β, and GRO/KC in the urine (P ≤ 0.02). Animals with asymptomatic UTI also had a significantly high rate of kidney infection (P ≤ 0.0005).
Complications associated with U. parvum infection are primarily dependent upon host-specific factors rather than Ureaplasma microbial load. The immune response in F344 rats is similar to that which occurs in humans with ureaplasmal associated disease. Therefore, this model of infection is a useful tool for elucidating U. parvum-host interactions that confer UTI and disease.
Understanding mollicutes is challenging due to their variety and relationship with host cells. Invasion has explained issues related to their opportunistic role. Few studies have been done on the Ureaplasma diversum mollicute, which is detected in healthy or diseased bovine. The invasion in Hep-2 cells of four clinical isolates and two reference strains of their ureaplasma was studied by Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy and gentamicin invasion assay.
The isolates and strains used were detected inside the cells after infection of one minute without difference in the arrangement for adhesion and invasion. The adhesion was scattered throughout the cells, and after three hours, the invasion of the ureaplasmas surrounded the nuclear region but were not observed inside the nuclei. The gentamicin invasion assay detected that 1% of the ATCC strains were inside the infected Hep-2 cells in contrast to 10% to the clinical isolates. A high level of phospholipase C activity was also detected in all studied ureaplasma.
The results presented herein will help better understand U. diversum infections, aswell as cellular attachment and virulence.
One hundred and eighty-five Holstein-Friesian dairy cows received either sterile water or 250 micrograms of gonadotrophin releasing hormone intramuscularly on the fourth day after the first service postpartum. Heparinized blood samples were taken immediately prior to treatment (day 4) and on day 8 postinsemination for analysis of plasma progesterone concentration. Pregnancy diagnosis was carried out by rectal palpation at 42 days postinsemination and reconfirmed after 60 days postbreeding. The pregnancy rates after first, second or third service were not significantly different between gonadotrophin releasing hormone-treated and control cows. Plasma progesterone concentrations on day 4 and day 8 postinsemination, as well as the change in plasma progesterone concentration from day 4 to day 8, were similar for gonadotrophin releasing hormone-treated and control cows. The plasma progesterone concentrations on day 8 postbreeding were significantly higher (p less than 0.005) and the change in progesterone concentrations between days 4 and 8 were significantly greater (p less than 0.002) in pregnant cows compared to nonpregnant cows.
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.