Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is an often lethal infection of many species in the order Artiodactyla. It is caused by members of the MCF virus group within Gammaherpesvirinae. MCF is a worldwide problem and has a significant economic impact on highly disease-susceptible hosts, such as cattle, bison, and deer. Several epidemiologic forms of MCF, defined by the reservoir ruminant species from which the causative virus arises, are recognized. Wildebeest-associated MCF (WA-MCF) and sheep-associated MCF (SA-MCF) are the most prevalent and well-studied forms of the disease. Historical understanding of MCF is largely based on WA-MCF, in which the causative virus can be propagated in vitro. Characterization of SA-MCF has been constrained because the causative agent has never been successfully propagated in vitro. Development of molecular tools has enabled more definitive studies on SA-MCF. The current understanding of MCF, including its etiological agents, epidemiology, pathogenesis, and prevention, is the subject of the present review.
Equine piroplasmosis, caused by the parasites Theileria equi and Babesia caballi, is a globally important disease, affecting a large percentage of the world's horses. This article serves as a review of these divergent parasites. Discussed are the clinical presentation of disease, diagnosis, and treatment. Special attention is given to the current disease status specifically in North America.
Babesia bovis is a tick-borne intraerythocytic protozoan responsible for acute disease in cattle which can be controlled by vaccination with attenuated B. bovis strains. Emerging B. bovis transfection technologies may increase the usefulness of these live vaccines. One use of transfected B. bovis parasites may be as a vaccine delivery platform. Previous transfection methods for B. bovis were limited by single expression sites and intracellular expression of transfected antigens. This study describes a novel transfection system in which two exogenous genes are expressed: one for selection and the other for a selected antigen designed to be delivered to the surface of the parasites. The strategy for duplicating the number of transfected genes was based on the use of the putative bidirectional promoter of the B. bovis 1.4 Kb ef-1? intergenic region. The ability of this region to regulate two independent expression sites was demonstrated using a luciferase assay on transiently transfected B. bovis parasites and then incorporated into a stable transfection plasmid to control independent expression of the selectable marker GFP-BSD and another gene of interest. A chimeric gene was synthetized using sequences from the protective B-cell epitopes of Rhipicephalus microplus tick antigen Bm86 along with sequences from the surface exposed B. bovis major surface antigen-1. This chimeric gene was then cloned into the additional expression site of the transfection plasmid. Transfection of the B. bovis Mo7 strain with this plasmid resulted in stable insertion into the ef-1? locus and simultaneous expression of both exogenous genes. Expression of the Bm86 epitopes on the surface of transfected merozoites was demonstrated using immunofluorescence analyses. The ability to independently express multiple genes by the inclusion of a bidirectional promoter and the achievement of surface expression of foreign epitopes advances the potential of transfected B. bovis as a future vaccine delivery platform.
The current study tested the hypothesis that removal of maltose binding protein (MBP) from recombinant antigen used for plate coating would improve the specificity of a commercial Anaplasma antibody competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA). The number of 358 sera with significant MBP antibody binding (?30%I) in Anaplasma-negative herds was 139 (38.8%) when tested using the recombinant major surface protein 5 (rMSP5)-MBP cELISA without MBP adsorption. All but 8 of the MBP binders were rendered negative (<30%I) using the commercial rMSP5-MBP cELISA with MBP adsorption, resulting in 97.8% specificity. This specificity was higher than some previous reports, so to improve the specificity of the commercial cELISA, a new recombinant antigen designated rMSP5-glutathione S-transferase (GST) was developed, eliminating MBP from the antigen and obviating the need for MBP adsorption. Using the rMSP5-GST cELISA, only 1 of 358 Anaplasma-negative sera, which included the 139 sera with significant (?30%I) MBP binding in the rMSP5-MBP cELISA without MBP adsorption, was positive. This resulted in an improved diagnostic specificity of 99.7%. The rMSP5-GST cELISA without MBP adsorption had comparable analytical sensitivity to the rMSP5-MBP cELISA with MBP adsorption and had 100% diagnostic sensitivity when tested with 135 positive sera defined by nested polymerase chain reaction. Further, the rMSP5-GST cELISA resolved 103 false-positive reactions from selected sera with possible false-positive reactions obtained using the rMSP5-MBP cELISA with MBP adsorption and improved the resolution of 29 of 31 other sera. In summary, the rMSP5-GST cELISA was a faster and simpler assay with higher specificity, comparable sensitivity, and improved resolution in comparison with the rMSP5-MBP cELISA with MBP adsorption.
Tick-borne pathogens that cause persistent infection are of major concern to the livestock industry because of transmission risk from persistently infected animals and the potential economic losses they pose. The recent reemergence of Theileria equi in the United States prompted a widespread national survey resulting in identification of limited distribution of equine piroplasmosis (EP) in the U.S. horse population. This program identified Babesia caballi-seropositive horses using rhoptry-associated protein 1 (RAP-1)-competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (cELISA), despite B. caballi being considered nonendemic on the U.S. mainland. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the suitability of RAP-1-cELISA as a single serological test to determine the infection status of B. caballi in U.S. horses. Immunoblotting indicated that sera from U.S. horses reacted with B. caballi lysate and purified B. caballi RAP-1 protein. Antibody reactivity to B. caballi lysate was exclusively directed against a single ?50-kDa band corresponding to a native B. caballi RAP-1 protein. In contrast, sera from experimentally and naturally infected horses from regions where B. caballi is endemic bound multiple proteins ranging from 30 to 50 kDa. Dilutions of sera from U.S. horses positive by cELISA revealed low levels of antibodies, while sera from horses experimentally infected with B. caballi and from areas where B. caballi is endemic had comparatively high antibody levels. Finally, blood transfer from seropositive U.S. horses into naive horses demonstrated no evidence of B. caballi transmission, confirming that antibody reactivity in cELISA-positive U.S. horses was not consistent with infection. Therefore, we conclude that a combination of cELISA and immunoblotting is required for the accurate serodiagnosis of B. caballi.
Theileriosis in horses and cattle is caused by tick-borne Apicomplexa parasites and results in death or life-long infection in their respective hosts. Transmission risk associated with persistent infection severely limits movement of horses and cattle resulting in economic losses. The recent reemergence of Theileria equi infection in U.S. horses demonstrates the continual threat Apicomplexa parasites represent to global animal health. A paucity of data concerning equine immune responses to T. equi, including antigens recognized by antibodies in clinically asymptomatic, persistently infected horses, precludes vaccine development. Therefore, this investigation was initiated to characterize antigens recognized by the equine antibody response to T. equi. This goal was accomplished by defining T. equi merozoite antigens that are recognized by antibodies in horses infected with distinct T. equi isolates. Previously it was shown that equine post-infection serum consistently recognized at least five T. equi merozoite antigens, but their precise identity remained unknown. To determine specificity of antibody target identification, T. equi merozoite antigens were first isolated using equine post-infection serum in affinity chromatography. Proteins recognized by the equine antibodies were then isolated from two-dimensional electrophoresis gels, and analyzed by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) using the recently available T. equi genome database. Five T. equi antigens were identified and include Equi Merozoite Antigen-2 (EMA-2), EMA-3 and EMA-6, a previously uncharacterized protein annotated as "signal peptide containing protein", and 40S ribosomal protein S12.
Small ruminant lentiviruses include members that infect sheep (ovine lentivirus [OvLV]; also known as ovine progressive pneumonia virus/maedi-visna virus) and goats (caprine arthritis encephalitis virus [CAEV]). Breed differences in seroprevalence and proviral concentration of OvLV had suggested a strong genetic component in susceptibility to infection by OvLV in sheep. A genetic marker test for susceptibility to OvLV has been developed recently based on the TMEM154 gene with validation data from over 2,800 sheep representing nine cohorts. While no single genotype has been shown to have complete resistance to OvLV, consistent association in thousands of sheep from multiple breeds and management conditions highlight a new strategy for intervention by selective breeding. This genetic marker-assisted selection (MAS) has the potential to be a useful addition to existing viral control measures. Further, the discovery of multiple additional genomic regions associated with susceptibility to or control of OvLV suggests that additional genetic marker tests may be developed to extend the reach of MAS in the future. This review will cover the strengths and limitations of existing data from host genetics as an intervention and outline additional questions for future genetic research in sheep, goats, small ruminant lentiviruses, and their host-pathogen interactions.
Sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever (SA-MCF), caused by ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2), is an often fatal syndrome affecting mainly ruminants. SA-MCF pathogenesis and vaccine studies rely solely on live animals, since OvHV-2 has not been successfully propagated in vitro. Thus, the identification of a laboratory animal model is desirable and necessary to accelerate the identification of virus-host interactions that lead to disease. Rabbits are susceptible to infection with OvHV-2 and the disease can be reliably induced experimentally; however, the viral dynamics and host immune responses in the context of SA-MCF development in rabbits have not yet been evaluated. We addressed these knowledge gaps by experimentally infecting rabbits with OvHV-2 and monitoring viral and host infection parameters. Following intranasal nebulization of OvHV-2 in rabbits, the virus transiently replicates in the lungs inducing only subtle local inflammatory responses; the virus then disseminates systemically and increased levels of viral DNA and transcripts can be detected in multiple tissues as disease develops. The severity of lesions was shown to increase with both viral DNA copy number and expression levels of ORF25, ORF50 and ORF73. The events observed in rabbits following OvHV-2 infection occurred in the same fashion previously reported in bison, a natural clinically susceptible host. The results of this study in conjunction with previous reports demonstrate that rabbits are a valuable model for SA-MCF pathogenesis and vaccine studies.
Theileria equi has a biphasic life cycle in horses, with a period of intraleukocyte development followed by patent erythrocytic parasitemia that causes acute and sometimes fatal hemolytic disease. Unlike Theileria spp. that infect cattle (Theileria parva and Theileria annulata), the intraleukocyte stage (schizont) of Theileria equi does not cause uncontrolled host cell proliferation or other significant pathology. Nevertheless, schizont-infected leukocytes are of interest because of their potential to alter host cell function and because immune responses directed against this stage could halt infection and prevent disease. Based on cellular morphology, Theileria equi has been reported to infect lymphocytes in vivo and in vitro, but the specific phenotype of schizont-infected cells has yet to be defined. To resolve this knowledge gap in Theileria equi pathogenesis, peripheral blood mononuclear cells were infected in vitro and the phenotype of infected cells determined using flow cytometry and immunofluorescence microscopy. These experiments demonstrated that the host cell range of Theileria equi was broader than initially reported and included B lymphocytes, T lymphocytes and monocyte/macrophages. To determine if B and T lymphocytes were required to establish infection in vivo, horses affected with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), which lack functional B and T lymphocytes, were inoculated with Theileria equi sporozoites. SCID horses developed patent erythrocytic parasitemia, indicating that B and T lymphocytes are not necessary to complete the Theileria equi life cycle in vivo. These findings suggest that the factors mediating Theileria equi leukocyte invasion and intracytoplasmic differentiation are common to several leukocyte subsets and are less restricted than for Theileria annulata and Theileria parva. These data will greatly facilitate future investigation into the relationships between Theileria equi leukocyte tropism and pathogenesis, breed susceptibility, and strain virulence.
Members of the CCp protein family have been previously described to be expressed on gametocytes of apicomplexan Plasmodium parasites. Knocking out Plasmodium CCp genes blocks the development of the parasite in the mosquito vector, making the CCp proteins potential targets for the development of a transmission-blocking vaccine. Apicomplexans Babesia bovis and Babesia bigemina are the causative agents of bovine babesiosis, and apicomplexan Theileria equi causes equine piroplasmosis. Bovine babesiosis and equine piroplasmosis are the most economically important parasite diseases that affect worldwide cattle and equine industries, respectively. The recent sequencing of the B. bovis and T. equi genomes has provided the opportunity to identify novel genes involved in parasite biology. Here we characterize three members of the CCp family, named CCp1, CCp2 and CCp3, in B. bigemina, B. bovis and T. equi. Using B. bigemina as an in vitro model, expression of all three CCp genes and proteins was demonstrated in temperature-induced sexual stages. Transcripts for all three CCp genes were found in vivo in blood stages of T. equi, and transcripts for CCp3 were detected in vivo in blood stages of B. bovis. However, no protein expression was detected in T. equi blood stages or B. bovis blood stages or B. bovis tick stages. Collectively, the data demonstrated a differential pattern of expression of three orthologous genes of the multidomain adhesion CCp family by B. bigemina, B. bovis and T. equi. The novel CCp members represent potential targets for innovative approaches to control bovine babesiosis and equine piroplasmosis.
Theileria equi immune plasma was infused into young horses (foals) with severe combined immunodeficiency. Although all foals became infected following intravenous challenge with homologous T. equi merozoite stabilate, delayed time to peak parasitemia occurred. Protective effects were associated with a predominance of passively transferred merozoite-specific IgG3.
Bighorn sheep (BHS) are more susceptible than domestic sheep (DS) to Mannheimia haemolytica pneumonia. Although both species carry M. haemolytica as a commensal bacterium in the nasopharynx, DS carry mostly leukotoxin (Lkt)-positive strains while BHS carry Lkt-negative strains. Consequently, antibodies to surface antigens and Lkt are present at much higher titers in DS than in BHS. The objective of this study was to determine whether repeated immunization of BHS with multivalent Mannheimia-Bibersteinia vaccine will protect them upon M. haemolytica challenge. Four BHS were vaccinated with a culture supernatant vaccine prepared from M. haemolytica serotypes A1 and A2 and Bibersteinia trehalosi serotype T10 on days 0, 21, 35, 49, and 77. Four other BHS were used as nonvaccinated controls. On the day of challenge, 12 days after the last immunization, the mean serum titers of Lkt-neutralizing antibodies and antibodies to surface antigens against M. haemolytica were 1:160 and 1:4,000, respectively. Following intranasal challenge with M. haemolytica A2 (1 × 10(5) CFU), all four control BHS died within 48 h. Necropsy revealed acute fibrinonecrotic pneumonia characteristic of M. haemolytica infection. None of the vaccinated BHS died during the 8 weeks postchallenge observation period. Radiography at 3 weeks postchallenge revealed no lung lesions in two vaccinated BHS and mild lesions in the other two, which resolved by 8 weeks postchallenge. These results indicate that if BHS can be induced to develop high titers of Lkt-neutralizing antibodies and antibodies to surface antigens, they are likely to survive M. haemolytica challenge which is likely to reduce the BHS population decline due to pneumonia.
The equid hemoprotozoan parasite Theileria equi is endemic in most regions worldwide. Infection of horses is a cause of significant economic loss due to costs associated with disease and restriction of trade with non-endemic nations. The ability of certain drugs such as imidocarb dipropionate to eliminate persistent T. equi infection and transmission risk is controversial. The anti-protozoal agent ponazuril has been used successfully to treat equine Sarcosystis neurona and Toxoplasma gondii. The hypothesis that ponazuril inhibits replication of T. equi in vitro was tested. T. equi infected equine erythrocyte cultures were treated with ponazuril at multiple concentrations. Cessation of parasite replication was observed over a 5-day period and the degree of inhibition was variable between drug concentrations. Ponazuril inhibited T. equi in erythrocyte culture at all concentrations tested but parasite elimination required at least 500 ?g/mL. The high dose of ponazuril required for in vitro inhibition likely limits its ability to control or clear T. equi infection in vivo, however additional research to evaluate related drugs is warranted.
Mannheimia haemolytica consistently causes fatal bronchopneumonia in bighorn sheep (BHS; Ovis canadensis) under natural and experimental conditions. Leukotoxin is the primary virulence factor of this organism. BHS are more susceptible to developing fatal pneumonia than the related species Ovis aries (domestic sheep [DS]). In BHS herds affected by pneumonia, lamb recruitment is severely impaired for years subsequent to an outbreak. We hypothesized that a lack of maternally derived antibodies (Abs) against M. haemolytica provides an immunologic basis for enhanced susceptibility of BH lambs to population-limiting pneumonia. Therefore, the objective of this study was to determine the titers of Abs directed against M. haemolytica in the sera of BH and domestic lambs at birth through 12 weeks of age. Results revealed that BH lambs had approximately 18-fold lower titers of Ab against surface antigens of M. haemolytica and approximately 20-fold lower titers of leukotoxin-neutralizing Abs than domestic lambs. The titers of leukotoxin-neutralizing Abs in the serum and colostrum samples of BH ewes were approximately 157- and 50-fold lower than those for domestic ewes, respectively. Comparatively, the higher titers of parainfluenza 3 virus-neutralizing Abs in the BH lambs ruled out the possibility that these BHS had an impaired ability to passively transfer Abs to their lambs. These results suggest that lower levels of leukotoxin-neutralizing Abs in the sera of BH ewes, and resultant low Ab titers in their lambs, may be a critical factor in the poor lamb recruitment in herds affected by pneumonia.
The molecular and cellular basis for the enhanced lung pathology and mortality caused by Mannheimia haemolytica in bighorn sheep (BHS, Ovis canadenesis), in comparison to domestic sheep (DS, Ovis aries), is not clear. Polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) of BHS are four- to eight-fold more susceptible to M. haemolytica leukotoxin-induced cytolysis, which is likely to reduce the number of functional phagocytes in the lung. We hypothesized that enhanced lung pathology is due to defective clearance of M. haemolytica from the lungs of BHS. To test this hypothesis, M. haemolytica (1 × 10(7) colony forming units [cfu]) were inoculated intra-tracheally into three groups each of BHS and DS, which were euthanized and necropsied at 4, 12, and 18 h post-inoculation (hpi). Bacterial and leukocyte counts were performed on broncho-alveolar lavage fluid (BALF) collected at necropsy. BALF from BHS euthanized at 4 and 12 hpi contained a significantly higher number of M. haemolytica than that from DS. More importantly, DS did not have any bacteria in BALF at 18 hpi, while the BHS still had significant numbers. As expected, the BHS did exhibit more extensive lung lesions at 12 and 18 hpi when compared to DS. At 18 hpi, necrotic PMNs were observed in the lesional lung tissues of BHS, but not DS. Furthermore, BALF from BHS had significantly lower titers of antibodies to Lkt and surface antigens of M. haemolytica, than that of DS. These findings suggest that the enhanced pathology in BHS lungs is due to defective clearance of M. haemolytica from the lungs.
Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF) is a frequently fatal lymphoproliferative disease syndrome primarily of ruminant species, caused by gammaherpesviruses in the genus Macavirus. Ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2), carried by sheep, causes sheep-associated MCF worldwide, while Alcelaphine herpesvirus 1 (AlHV-1), carried by wildebeest, causes wildebeest-associated MCF, mainly in Africa. Diseases in rabbits can be induced by both viruses, which are clinically and pathologically similar; however, recent studies revealed different expression of viral genes associated with latency or lytic replication during clinical disease between the two viruses. In this study, we further characterized experimentally induced MCF in rabbits by nebulization with OvHV-2 from sheep nasal secretions to elucidate the course of viral replication, along with in vivo incorporation of 5-Bromo-2-Deoxyuridine (BrdU), to evaluate lymphoproliferation. All six rabbits nebulized with OvHV-2 developed MCF between 24 and 29 days post infection. OvHV-2 DNA levels in peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) remained undetectable during the incubation period and increased dramatically a few days before onset of clinical signs. During the clinical stage, we found that predominantly lytic gene expression was detected in PBL and tissues, and both T and B cells were proliferating. The data showed that the viral gene expression profile and lymphoproliferation in rabbits with OvHV-2 induced MCF were different from that in rabbits with AlHV-1 induced MCF, suggesting that OvHV-2 and AlHV-1 may play a different role in MCF pathogenesis.
Leukotoxin (Lkt) and LPS are the major virulence determinants of Mannheimia haemolytica that contribute to the pathogenesis of bovine and ovine pneumonic pasteurellosis. We have previously identified bovine and ovine CD18 as the functional receptor for Lkt. LPS complexes with Lkt resulting in increased thermal stability and enhanced cytotoxic activity of Lkt. Cellular recognition of LPS involves several different molecules including CD14. We hypothesized that expression of ovine CD14 together with LFA-1 or Mac-1 would enhance Lkt-induced cytotoxicity. Ovine cDNA for CD14 was amplified by PCR and cloned into mammalian expression vectors. The 1122 bp cDNAs for bighorn sheep (BHS) and domestic sheep (DS) CD14 encode 373 amino acids which exhibit 99% identity with each other. Ovine CD14 plasmids were transfected either into HEK-293 cells, or previous HEK-293 transfectants stably expressing ovine LFA-1 or Mac-1. Flow cytometric analysis of transfectants confirmed the cell surface expression of CD14. The transfectants expressing LFA-1 or Mac-1 and the transfectants co-expressing CD14 with LFA-1 or Mac-1 did not show any significant difference in Lkt-induced cytotoxicity when incubated with LPS complexed Lkt. In contrast, incubation of the LFA-1 or Mac-1 and LFA-1/CD14 or Mac-1/CD14 transfectants with Lkt which lacks LPS, resulted in reduced cytotoxicity. None of the above transfectants showed any difference in [Ca²+](i) elevation when incubated with both types of Lkt preparations. Lkt did not induce any cytotoxicity or [Ca²+](i) elevation in ovine CD14 transfectants or parent HEK-293 cells. Based on these findings, we conclude that expression of CD14 together with LFA-1 or Mac-1 does not enhance Lkt-induced cytotoxicity, whereas LPS enhances cytotoxicity by complexing with Lkt.
Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus is an economically important tick of cattle involved in the transmission of Babesia bovis, the etiological agent of bovine babesiosis. Commercial anti-tick vaccines based on the R. microplus Bm86 glycoprotein have shown some effect in controlling tick infestation; however their efficacy as a stand-alone solution for tick control has been questioned. Understanding the role of the Bm86 gene product in tick biology is critical to identifying additional methods to utilize Bm86 to reduce R. microplus infestation and babesia transmission. Additionally, the role played by Bm86 in R. microplus fitness during B. bovis infection is unknown.
Previous studies demonstrated that bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) died of pneumonia when commingled with domestic sheep (Ovis aries) but did not conclusively prove that the responsible pathogens were transmitted from domestic to bighorn sheep. The objective of this study was to determine, unambiguously, whether Mannheimia haemolytica can be transmitted from domestic to bighorn sheep when they commingle. Four isolates of M. haemolytica were obtained from the pharynx of two of four domestic sheep and tagged with a plasmid carrying the genes for green fluorescent protein (GFP) and ampicillin resistance (AP(R)). Four domestic sheep, colonized with the tagged bacteria, were kept about 10 m apart from four bighorn sheep for 1 mo with no clinical signs of pneumonia observed in the bighorn sheep during that period. The domestic and bighorn sheep were then allowed to have fence-line contact for 2 mo. During that period, three bighorn sheep acquired the tagged bacteria from the domestic sheep. At the end of the 2 mo of fence-line contact, the animals were allowed to commingle. All four bighorn sheep died 2 days to 9 days following commingling. The lungs from all four bighorn sheep showed gross and histopathologic lesions characteristic of M. haemolytica pneumonia. Tagged M. haemolytica were isolated from all four bighorn sheep, as confirmed by growth in ampicillin-containing culture medium, PCR-amplification of genes encoding GFP and Ap(R), and immunofluorescent staining of GFP. These results unequivocally demonstrate transmission of M. haemolytica from domestic to bighorn sheep, resulting in pneumonia and death of bighorn sheep.
Completion of the Babesia bovis (T2Bo strain) genome provides detailed data concerning the predicted proteome of this parasite, and allows for a bioinformatics approach to gene discovery. Comparative genomics of the hemoprotozoan parasites B. bovis and Theileria parva revealed a highly conserved syntenic block of genes flanking the p67 gene of T. parva, a sporozoite stage-specific vaccine candidate against East Coast fever (ECF). The syntenic gene in B. bovis, designated bov57, encodes a protein of limited amino acid sequence identity (11.8%) to p67. Monoclonal antibodies were produced against recombinant BOV57 and were used to demonstrate expression of BOV57 in merozoite and kinete stages of the T2Bo strain of B. bovis. Transcript levels of bov57 in kinetes were increased 100-fold in comparison to msa-1, a previously identified gene encoding an erythrocyte stage surface protein. Amino acid sequence comparisons between the T2Bo strain and two attenuated and virulent strains from Argentina and Australia revealed a high degree of sequence conservation in BOV57 among these geographically and pathogenically divergent isolates (97% amino acid sequence identity). Additional genomic comparisons show that the bov57 gene locus is also conserved in Babesia bigemina and Babesia equi. While not identifiable through amino acid or nucleotide sequence similarity, the conserved gene order within this locus in multiple piroplasms may suggest a critical function adapted for each species unique host and life-cycle.
Transmission of ovine progressive pneumonia virus (OPPV), a lentivirus of sheep, occurs through both maternal and non-maternal means. Currently, the contribution of each route to the overall flock OPPV prevalence is poorly understood since previous serological epidemiologic studies lacked the ability to accurately track routes of transmission within an infected flock. In this study, the amount of maternal OPP transmission was assessed in a naturally infected ewe flock by applying molecular analyses to proviral sequences derived from peripheral blood leukocytes of OPP positive dam-daughter pairs (N=40). Both proviral envelope (env) and long terminal repeat (LTR) sequences, separately and combined, were utilized in the following 2 sequence analysis methods: phylogenetic analysis and pairwise distance calculations. True maternal transmission events were defined as agreement in 2 out of the 2 sequence analysis methods. Using this criterion, proviral env sequences resulted in a 14.3% maternal transmission frequency, and proviral LTR sequences resulted in a 10% maternal transmission frequency. Both proportions of maternal transmission varied significantly from equality (P<0.0001). This indicates that the remaining 85.7-90% of daughters are infected via non-maternal transmission. This is also the first study to calculate the OPP proviral rate of change for the env gene and LTR promoter. Accurately defining the routes of OPPV transmission provides critical epidemiological data supporting management intended to reduce flock transmission and viral dose.
Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae has been isolated from the lungs of pneumonic bighorn sheep (BHS). However experimental reproduction of fatal pneumonia in BHS with M. ovipneumoniae was not successful. Therefore the specific role, if any, of M. ovipneumoniae in BHS pneumonia is unclear. The objective of this study was to determine whether M. ovipneumoniae alone causes fatal pneumonia in BHS, or predisposes them to infection by Mannheimia haemolytica. We chose M. haemolytica for this study because of its isolation from pneumonic BHS, and its consistent ability to cause fatal pneumonia under experimental conditions. Since in vitro culture could attenuate virulence of M. ovipneumoniae, we used ceftiofur-treated lung homogenates from pneumonic BHS lambs or nasopharyngeal washings from M. ovipneumoniae-positive domestic sheep (DS) as the source of M. ovipneumoniae. Two adult BHS were inoculated intranasally with lung homogenates while two others received nasopharyngeal washings from DS. All BHS developed clinical signs of respiratory infection, but only one BHS died. The dead BHS had carried leukotoxin-positive M. haemolytica in the nasopharynx before the onset of this study. It is likely that M. ovipneumoniae colonization predisposed this BHS to fatal infection with the M. haemolytica already present in this animal. The remaining three BHS developed pneumonia and died 1-5 days following intranasal inoculation with M. haemolytica. On necropsy, lungs of all four BHS showed lesions characteristic of bronchopneumonia. M. haemolytica and M. ovipneumoniae were isolated from the lungs. These results suggest that M. ovipneumoniae alone may not cause fatal pneumonia in BHS, but can predispose them to fatal pneumonia due to M. haemolytica infection.
Mannheimia haemolytica infection results in enhanced PMN-mediated tissue damage in the lungs of bighorn sheep (BHS) compared to that of domestic sheep (DS). SERPIN B1 is an inhibitor of PMN-derived serine proteases. It prevents lung tissue injury by inhibiting the serine proteases released as a result of PMN lysis and degranulation. It is conceivable that PMNs of BHS exhibit decreased quantity and/or activity of SERPIN B1 which results in enhanced tissue injury and decreased bacterial clearance in pneumonic lungs of BHS. The objective of this study was to clone and express SERPIN B1 of BHS and DS, and develop antibodies to facilitate quantification of SERPIN B1. The 1,134bp cDNA of SERPIN B1 of BHS and DS encodes a polypeptide of 377 amino acids. SERPIN B1 of BHS and DS exhibits 100% identity at the nucleotide and amino acid levels. The amino acid sequence of ovine (BHS/DS) SERPIN B1 displays 69%, 71%, 74%, 78% and 80% identity with that of rats, dogs, mice, humans and horses, respectively. Ovine SERPIN B1 expressed in Escherichia coli was used to develop polyclonal antibodies in mice. Western blot analysis revealed the specificity of these antibodies for ovine rSERPIN B1.
Ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2) is the causative agent of sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever (SA-MCF), a frequently fatal disease of some members of the order Artiodactyla. OvHV-2 is carried as a lifelong subclinical infection in sheep (Ovis aries). To date OvHV-2 has not been propagated in vitro and this has hampered studies of viral pathogenesis and efforts to develop a vaccine to protect animals from SA-MCF. Lytic OvHV-2 replication occurs in the lungs of experimentally infected sheep at early times post-inoculation (PI) and in the nasal cavities of naturally infected sheep during virus shedding episodes. Identification of specific cell types supporting lytic virus replication in vivo provides information that can be used in the development of an in vitro propagation system for the virus. Using fluorescence immunohistochemical techniques, we identified lytically infected alveolar epithelial cells in the lungs of sheep early during infection. Lytically infected epithelial cells were also detected in samples of nasal secretions collected from naturally infected sheep during episodes of virus shedding. This is the first reported identification in the natural reservoir species of specific cell types that support OvHV-2 lytic replication in vivo.
Babesia are emerging health threats to humans and animals in the United States. A collaborative effort of multiple disciplines to attain optimal health for people, animals and our environment, otherwise known as the One Health concept, was taken during a research workshop held in April 2009 to identify gaps in scientific knowledge regarding babesioses. The impetus for this analysis was the increased risk for outbreaks of bovine babesiosis, also known as Texas cattle fever, associated with the re-infestation of the U.S. by cattle fever ticks.
Mannheimia (Pasteurella) haemolytica is the only pathogen that consistently causes severe bronchopneumonia and rapid death of bighorn sheep (BHS; Ovis canadensis) under experimental conditions. Paradoxically, Bibersteinia (Pasteurella) trehalosi and Pasteurella multocida have been isolated from BHS pneumonic lungs much more frequently than M. haemolytica. These observations suggest that there may be an interaction between these bacteria, and we hypothesized that B. trehalosi overgrows or otherwise inhibits the growth of M. haemolytica. Growth curves (monoculture) demonstrated that B. trehalosi has a shorter doubling time ( approximately 10 min versus approximately 27 min) and consistently achieves 3-log higher cell density (CFU/ml) compared to M. haemolytica. During coculture M. haemolytica growth was inhibited when B. trehalosi entered stationary phase (6 h) resulting in a final cell density for M. haemolytica that was 6 to 9 logs lower than expected with growth in the absence of B. trehalosi. Coculture supernatant failed to inhibit M. haemolytica growth on agar or in broth, indicating no obvious involvement of lytic phages, bacteriocins, or quorum-sensing systems. This observation was confirmed by limited growth inhibition of M. haemolytica when both pathogens were cultured in the same media but separated by a filter (0.4-microm pore size) that limited contact between the two bacterial populations. There was significant growth inhibition of M. haemolytica when the populations were separated by membranes with a pore size of 8 mum that allowed free contact. These observations demonstrate that B. trehalosi can both outgrow and inhibit M. haemolytica growth with the latter related to a proximity- or contact-dependent mechanism.
A caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus (CAEV)/maedi-visna virus (MVV) indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (iELISA) was validated with samples from U.S. sheep and by the use of radioimmunoprecipitation as the standard for comparison. The sensitivity and the specificity were 86.0% (+ or - 5.8%) and 95.9% (+ or - 2.9%), respectively. The iELISA format and phylogenetic differences based on the MVV gag sequence contribute to the reduced sensitivity.
This report describes the genome sequences of Mannheimia haemolytica serotype A2 isolated from pneumonic lungs of two different ruminant species, one from Ovis aries, designated ovine (O), and the other from Bos taurus, designated bovine (B).
The cattle tick Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus is involved in the transmission of the protozoan Babesia bovis, the etiological agent of bovine babesiosis. Interactions between ticks and protozoa are poorly understood and the investigation of tick genes that affect tick fitness and protozoan infection can set the stage for dissecting the molecular interactions between the two species.
Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF), caused by ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2), is an important cause of mortality in ranched American bison and domestic cattle in North America. Previous studies showed that bison can be infected by intranasal nebulization with sheep nasal secretions containing OvHV-2 and provided preliminary information on viral doses required for infection and disease progression. The goals of this study were to establish optimal minimal infectious and minimal lethal doses of OvHV-2 by the intranasal route in bison, evaluate the influence of dose on incubation period and other clinical parameters and determine if bison seropositive for antibody against MCF-group viruses are resistant to developing MCF after intranasal challenge. In this study, the minimal infectious dose and minimal lethal dose overlap, suggesting that experimental production of subclinically infected bison is impractical. Dose is inversely related to both incubation period and the period between nebulization and first detection of >1000 OvHV-2 DNA copies/500 ng total DNA in peripheral blood leukocytes. Interestingly, all of the bison seropositive for anti-MCF-group viral antibody prior to inoculation died of MCF after nebulization. We conclude that previous exposure to an MCF-group virus does not necessarily provide resistance to OvHV-2-induced MCF in bison.
Theileria parva is the etiologic agent of East Coast fever, an economically important disease of cattle in sub-Saharan Africa. This protozoan parasite is biologically transmitted by Rhipicephalus appendiculatus (Neumann) (Acari: Ixodidae). An understanding of the vector-parasite interaction may aid the development of improved methods for controlling transmission. We developed quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and nested PCR (nPCR) assays targeting the T. parva-specific p104 gene to study T. parva pathogenesis in two strains of R. appendiculatus that had previously been selected to be relatively more (Kiambu) or less (Muguga) susceptible to infection. Nymphs from both strains were fed simultaneously to repletion on acutely infected calves. Nymphs from the Kiambu strain showed significantly higher engorgement weights compared with Muguga strain nymphs. Immediately after engorgement qPCR confirmed that nymphal Kiambu ticks had significantly higher parasite loads at repletion than Muguga nymphs. By 12 d postengorgement, parasites were below quantifiable levels but could be detected by nPCR in 83-87% (Muguga and Kiambu, respectively) of nymphs. After the molt, adult feeding on naïve cattle stimulated parasite replication in the salivary glands. PCR detected significantly more infected ticks than microscopy, and there was a significant difference between the two tick strains both in the proportion of ticks that develop salivary gland infections, and in the number of parasites within infected salivary glands. These data confirm that although both tick strains were competent vectors, Kiambu is both a significantly more susceptible and a more efficient host for T. parva than Muguga. The mechanisms that contribute to the levels of susceptibility and efficiency are unknown; however, this study lays the groundwork for a comparison of the transcriptome of these tick strains, the next step toward discovering the genes involved in the tick-parasite interaction.
Antimicrobial treatment of persistent infection to eliminate transmission risk represents a specific challenge requiring compelling evidence of complete pathogen clearance. The limited repertoire of antimicrobial agents targeted at protozoal parasites magnifies this challenge. Using Babesia caballi as both a model and a specific apicomplexan pathogen for which evidence of the elimination of transmission risk is required for international animal movement, we tested whether a high-dose regimen of imidocarb dipropionate cleared infection from persistently infected asymptomatic horses and/or eliminated transmission risk. Clearance with elimination of transmission risk was supported by the following four specific lines of evidence: (i) inability to detect parasites by quantitative PCR and nested PCR amplification, (ii) conversion from seropositive to seronegative status, (iii) inability to transmit infection by direct inoculation of blood into susceptible recipient horses, and (iv) inability to transmit infection by ticks acquisition fed on the treated horses and subsequently transmission fed on susceptible horses. In contrast, untreated horses remained infected and capable of transmitting B. caballi using the same criteria. These findings establish that imidocarb dipropionate treatment clears B. caballi infection with confirmation of lack of transmission risk either by direct blood transfer or a high tick burden. Importantly, the treated horses revert to seronegative status according to the international standard for serologic testing and would be permitted to move between countries where the pathogen is endemic and countries that are free of the pathogen.
A multiplex real-time PCR was developed using a single pair of primers and fluorescent probes specific for five malignant catarrhal fever viruses and an internal positive control. The assay was able to simultaneously detect and differentiate the viruses in clinical samples with high sensitivity (97.2%) and specificity (100%).
The conversion of normal cellular prion protein to disease-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) is a fundamental component of prion disease pathogenesis. The molecular mechanisms contributing to prion conversion and the impact of PrP(Sc) accumulation on cellular biology are not fully understood. To further define the molecular changes associated with PrP(Sc) accumulation in cultured cells, the transcriptional profile of PrP(Sc)-accumulating primary ovine microglia was compared to the profile of PrP(Sc)-lacking microglia using the Affymetrix Bovine Genome Array. The experimental design included three biological replicates, each with three technical replicates, and samples that were collected at the point of near maximal PrP(Sc) accumulation levels as measured by ELISA. The array analysis revealed only 19 upregulated genes and 30 downregulated genes in PrP(Sc)-accumulating microglia. The results support the hypothesis that chronic PrP(Sc) accumulation in cultured microglia results in a limited transcriptional response.
Apicomplexan parasites commonly contain a unique, non-photosynthetic plastid-like organelle termed the apicoplast. Previous analyses of other plastid-containing organisms suggest that apicoplasts were derived from a red algal ancestor. In this report, we present an extensive phylogenetic study of apicoplast origins using multiple previously reported apicoplast sequences as well as several sequences recently reported. Phylogenetic analysis of amino acid sequences was used to determine the evolutionary origin of the organelle. A total of nine plastid genes from 37 species were incorporated in our study. The data strongly support a green algal origin for apicoplasts and Euglenozoan plastids. Further, the nearest green algae lineage to the Apicomplexans is the parasite Helicosporidium, suggesting that apicoplasts may have originated by lateral transfer from green algal parasite lineages. The results also substantiate earlier findings that plastids found in Heterokonts such as Odontella and Thalassiosira were derived from a separate secondary endosymbiotic event likely originating from a red algal lineage.
Serum samples were collected from 582 horses from 40 stud farms in the State of São Paulo and tick (Acari: Ixodidae) infestations were evaluated on them. Serum samples were subjected to the complement fixation test (CFT) and a competitive inhibition ELISA (cELISA) for Babesia caballi and Theileria equi. Logistic regression analyses were performed to construct multivariate models that could explain the dependent variable (horses positive for B. caballi or T. equi) as a function of the independent variables (presence or abundance of each one of the tick species found on the farms). A higher overall prevalence of B. caballi (54.1%) than of T. equi (21.6%) was found by the two tests. The ticks Dermacentor nitens Neumann, 1897, Amblyomma cajennense (Fabricius, 1787) and Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus (Canestrini, 1887) were present on horses on 38 (95%), 20 (50%), and 4 (10%) farms, respectively. Infestations by D. nitens were statistically associated with B. caballi-positive horses on the farms by either the CFT or cELISA. Infestations by A. cajennense were statistically associated with T. equi-positive horses on the farms by either CFT or cELISA.
Studies were undertaken to determine whether anti-ovine progressive pneumonia virus (OPPV) antibody responses in serum or OPP provirus levels in peripheral blood associate with the degree of histologically measured tissue lesions in naturally OPPV-infected sheep. Sections of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded, and hematoxylin- and eosin-stained lung, mammary gland, carpal synovial membrane, and brain tissues from 11 OPPV-infected ewes (mean age of 8.6 years) and 5 OPPV-uninfected ewes (mean age of 6 years) were evaluated for lesion severity. Ovine progressive pneumonia (OPP) provirus levels and anti-OPPV antibody titers in peripheral blood and serum samples, respectively, were measured upon euthanasia and 3 years prior to euthanasia. Both mean peripheral OPP provirus levels and mean serum anti-surface envelope glycoprotein (anti-SU) antibody titers at the time of euthanasia were significantly higher in ewes with moderate to severe histological lesions than in ewes with no to mild histological lesions. However, although mean peripheral blood OPP provirus levels at euthanasia and 3 years prior to euthanasia significantly correlated with the highest histological lesion score for any affected tissue (two-tailed P values, 0.03 and 0.02), mean serum anti-SU antibody titers, anti-capsid antibody titers, and anti-transmembrane 90 antibody titers at euthanasia did not show a significant correlation with the highest histological lesion score for any tissue (two-tailed P values, 0.32, 0.97, and 0.18, respectively). These data are the first to show that OPP provirus levels predict and correlate with the extent of OPPV-related histological lesions in various OPPV-affected tissues. These findings suggest that peripheral OPP provirus levels quantitatively contribute more to the development of histological lesions than the systemic anti-SU antibody host immune response.
Strain superinfection occurs when a second pathogen strain infects a host already carrying a primary strain. Anaplasma marginale superinfection occurs when the second strain carries a variant repertoire different from that of the primary strain, and the epidemiologic consequences depend on the relative efficiencies of tick-borne transmission of the two strains. Following strain superinfection in the reservoir host, we tested whether the presence of two A. marginale (sensu lato) strains that differed in transmission efficiency altered the transmission phenotypes in comparison to those for single-strain infections. Dermacentor andersoni ticks were fed on animals superinfected with the Anaplasma marginale subsp. centrale vaccine strain (low transmission efficiency) and the A. marginale St. Maries strain (high transmission efficiency). Within ticks that acquired both strains, the St. Maries strain had a competitive advantage and replicated to significantly higher levels than the vaccine strain. The St. Maries strain was subsequently transmitted to naïve hosts by ticks previously fed either on superinfected animals or on animals singly infected with the St. Maries strain, consistent with the predicted transmission phenotype of this strain and the lack of interference due to the presence of a competing low-efficiency strain. The vaccine strain was not transmitted by either singly infected or coinfected ticks, consistent with the predicted transmission phenotype and the lack of enhancement due to the presence of a high-efficiency strain. These results support the idea that the strain predominance in regions of endemicity is mediated by the intrinsic transmission efficiency of specific strains regardless of occurrence of superinfection.
The relative fitness of arthropod-borne pathogens within the vector can be a major determinant of pathogen prevalence within the mammalian host population. Strains of the tick-borne rickettsia Anaplasma marginale differ markedly in transmission efficiency, with a consequent impact on pathogen strain structure. We have identified two A. marginale strains with significant differences in the transmission phenotype that is effected following infection of the salivary gland. We have proposed competing hypotheses to explain the phenotypes: (i) both strains are secreted equally, but there is an intrinsic difference in infectivity for the mammalian host, or (ii) one strain is secreted at a significantly higher level and thus represents delivery of a greater pathogen dose. Quantitative analysis of pathogen replication and secretion revealed that the high-efficiency St. Maries strain replicated to a 10-fold-higher titer and that a significantly greater percentage of infected ticks secreted A. marginale into the saliva and did so at a significantly higher level than for the low-efficiency Israel vaccine strain. Furthermore, the transmission phenotype of the vaccine strain could be restored to that of the St. Maries strain simply by increasing the delivered pathogen dose, either by direct inoculation of salivary gland organisms or by increasing the number of ticks during transmission feeding. We identified morphological differences in the colonization of each strain within the salivary glands and propose that these reflect strain-specific differences in replication and secretion pathways linked to the vector-pathogen interaction.
Selective breeding of sheep for arginine (R) at prion gene (PRNP) codon 171 confers resistance to classical scrapie. However, other effects of 171R selection are uncertain. Ovine progressive pneumonia/Maedi-Visna virus (OPPV) may infect up to 66% of a flock thus any affect of 171R selection on OPPV susceptibility or disease progression could have major impact on the sheep industry. Hypotheses that the PRNP 171R allele is 1) associated with the presence of OPPV provirus and 2) associated with higher provirus levels were tested in an Idaho ewe flock. OPPV provirus was found in 226 of 358 ewes by quantitative PCR. The frequency of ewes with detectable provirus did not differ significantly among the 171QQ, 171QR, and 171RR genotypes (p > 0.05). Also, OPPV provirus levels in infected ewes were not significantly different among codon 171 genotypes (p > 0.05). These results show that, in the flock examined, the presence of OPPV provirus and provirus levels are not related to the PRNP 171R allele. Therefore, a genetic approach to scrapie control is not expected to increase or decrease the number of OPPV infected sheep or the progression of disease. This study provides further support to the adoption of PRNP 171R selection as a scrapie control measure.
With the recent completion of numerous sequenced bacterial genomes, notable advances have been made in understanding the level of conservation between various species. However, relatively little is known about the genomic diversity among strains. We determined the complete genome sequence of the Florida strain of Anaplasma marginale, and near complete (>96%) sequences for an additional three strains, for comparative analysis with the previously fully sequenced St. Maries strain genome.
Ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2), the causative agent of sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever (SA-MCF), has never been propagated in vitro. Thus, an alternative to in vitro virus neutralization is needed to assess neutralizing antibody activity to OvHV-2 in SA-MCF vaccine development. An in vivo system in sheep and rabbits was evaluated to determine whether it could be used to assess the ability of antibodies to block OvHV-2 at the entry site by mixing virus and anti-OvHV-2 serum before challenge by intranasal nebulization. A dose of OvHV-2 (10(6) viral DNA copies) incubated with sheep sera (1:4 final dilution) at 37°C for 1 hr was delivered by intranasal nebulization to sheep and rabbits. All sheep became infected, but the positive serum reduced viral infectivity by approximately 1000 fold based on delayed detection of viral DNA and seroconversion as compared to the negative control group, which received virus treated with negative sheep serum. All rabbits that received the virus mixed with the positive sheep serum, either with or without complement, were protected from the infection while all rabbits in the control groups developed SA-MCF. The data indicate that this type of in vivo system, sheep or rabbits, can be used to assess antibodys ability to block OvHV-2 entry, which is a significant tool for the analysis of protective antibody responses to the virus.
Theileria equi, one of the causative agents of equine piroplasmosis, is endemic in many regions of the world but is considered a foreign animal disease in the USA. In an effort to prevent the importation of T. equi, stringent serological screening of horses is practiced prior to entry to the USA. Current regulatory options available where horses are found to be infected include permanent quarantine with or without chemotherapy, repatriation, or euthanasia. Chemotherapeutics that eliminate infection and subsequently transmission risk are critical in the management of infected horses. In this study, the efficacy of the drug imidocarb dipropionate against experimental T. equi infection was assessed. Of nine horses experimentally inoculated with T. equi isolated from an animal previously imported from Peru, six were treated with imidocarb dipropionate after the resolution of the acute phase of the disease. Elimination of the parasite was demonstrated in 5/6 by nested PCR, blood transfusions to naïve horses, and reversion to seronegative status. The findings support the use of this drug as a potential treatment option in controlling outbreaks of T. equi, and also suggest that combination testing using both serological and PCR detection methods are necessary to demonstrate clearance of infection.
Transmission of arthropod-borne apicomplexan parasites that cause disease and result in death or persistent infection represents a major challenge to global human and animal health. First described in 1901 as Piroplasma equi, this re-emergent apicomplexan parasite was renamed Babesia equi and subsequently Theileria equi, reflecting an uncertain taxonomy. Understanding mechanisms by which apicomplexan parasites evade immune or chemotherapeutic elimination is required for development of effective vaccines or chemotherapeutics. The continued risk of transmission of T. equi from clinically silent, persistently infected equids impedes the goal of returning the U. S. to non-endemic status. Therefore comparative genomic analysis of T. equi was undertaken to: 1) identify genes contributing to immune evasion and persistence in equid hosts, 2) identify genes involved in PBMC infection biology and 3) define the phylogenetic position of T. equi relative to sequenced apicomplexan parasites.
Like human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), ovine lentivirus (OvLV) is macrophage-tropic and causes lifelong infection. OvLV infects one quarter of U.S. sheep and induces pneumonia and body condition wasting. There is no vaccine to prevent OvLV infection and no cost-effective treatment for infected animals. However, breed differences in prevalence and proviral concentration have indicated a genetic basis for susceptibility to OvLV. A recent study identified TMEM154 variants in OvLV susceptibility. The objective here was to identify additional loci associated with odds and/or control of OvLV infection.
Pneumonic bighorn sheep (BHS) have been found to be culture- and/or sero-positive for Bibersteinia trehalosi, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and parainfluenza-3 virus (PI-3). The objective of this study was to determine whether these pathogens can cause fatal pneumonia in BHS. In the first study, two groups of four BHS each were intra-tracheally administered with leukotoxin-positive (Group I) or leukotoxin-negative (Group II) B. trehalosi. All four animals in Group I developed severe pneumonia, and two of them died within 3 days. The other two animals showed severe pneumonic lesions on euthanasia and necropsy. Animals in Group II neither died nor showed gross pneumonic lesions on necropsy, suggesting that leukotoxin-positive, but not leukotoxin-negative, B. trehalosi can cause fatal pneumonia in BHS. In the second study, two other groups of four BHS (Groups III and IV) were intra-nasally administered with a mixture of RSV and PI-3. Four days later, RSV/PI-3-inoculated Group IV and another group of four BHS (Group V, positive control) were intra-nasally administered with Mannheimia haemolytica, the pathogen that consistently causes fatal pneumonia in BHS. All four animals in group III developed pneumonia, but did not die during the study period. However all four animals in Group IV, and three animals in Group V developed severe pneumonia and died within two days of M. haemolytica inoculation. The fourth animal in Group V showed severe pneumonic lesions on euthanasia and necropsy. These findings suggest that RSV/PI-3 can cause non-fatal pneumonia, but are not necessary predisposing agents for M. haemolytica-caused pneumonia of BHS.
Arthropod-borne apicomplexan pathogens that cause asymptomatic persistent infections present a significant challenge due to their life-long transmission potential. Although anti-microbials have been used to ameliorate acute disease in animals and humans, chemotherapeutic efficacy for apicomplexan pathogen elimination from a persistently infected host and removal of transmission risk is largely unconfirmed. The recent re-emergence of the apicomplexan Theileria equi in U.S. horses prompted testing whether imidocarb dipropionate was able to eliminate T. equi from naturally infected horses and remove transmission risk. Following imidocarb treatment, levels of T. equi declined from a mean of 10(4.9) organisms/ml of blood to undetectable by nested PCR in 24 of 25 naturally infected horses. Further, blood transfer from treated horses that became nested PCR negative failed to transmit to naïve splenectomized horses. Although these results were consistent with elimination of infection in 24 of 25 horses, T. equi-specific antibodies persisted in the majority of imidocarb treated horses. Imidocarb treatment was unsuccessful in one horse which remained infected as measured by nested PCR and retained the ability to infect a naïve recipient via intravenous blood transfer. However, a second round of treatment eliminated T. equi infection. These results support the utility of imidocarb chemotherapy for assistance in the control and eradication of this tick-borne pathogen. Successful imidocarb dipropionate treatment of persistently infected horses provides a tool to aid the global equine industry by removing transmission risk associated with infection and facilitating international movement of equids between endemic and non-endemic regions.
Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida, and Bibersteinia trehalosi have been identified in the lungs of pneumonic bighorn sheep (BHS; Ovis canadensis). Of these pathogens, M. haemolytica has been shown to consistently cause fatal pneumonia in BHS under experimental conditions. However, M. haemolytica has been isolated by culture less frequently than the other bacteria. We hypothesized that the growth of M. haemolytica is inhibited by other bacteria in the lungs of BHS. The objective of this study was to determine whether P. multocida inhibits the growth of M. haemolytica. Although in monoculture both bacteria exhibited similar growth characteristics, in coculture with P. multocida there was a clear inhibition of growth of M. haemolytica. The inhibition was detected at mid-log phase and continued through the stationary phase. When cultured in the same medium, the growth of M. haemolytica was inhibited when both bacteria were separated by a membrane that allowed contact (pore size, 8.0 ?m) but not when they were separated by a membrane that limited contact (pore size, 0.4 ?m). Lytic bacteriophages or bactericidal compounds could not be detected in the culture supernatant fluid from monocultures of P. multocida or from P. multocida-M. haemolytica cocultures. These results indicate that P. multocida inhibits the growth of M. haemolytica by a contact- or proximity-dependent mechanism. If the inhibition of growth of M. haemolytica by P. multocida occurs in vivo as well, it could explain the inconsistent isolation of M. haemolytica from the lungs of pneumonic BHS.
Ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2) is a gammaherpesvirus that causes sheep-associated malignant catarrhal fever (SA-MCF), a frequently fatal disease mainly of ruminants. This study was designed to define virus-host dynamics following experimental OvHV-2 infection in bison. A transient peak in viral DNA accompanied by the presence of OvHV-2 ORF25, ORF50 and ORF73 transcripts was observed in lungs only from 9 to 12 days post-inoculation (DPI), suggesting occurrence of viral replication. This initial viral replication was associated with only a subtle increase in transcription of inflammation related genes in lungs and tracheal bronchial lymph nodes, while the level of expression of the majority of immune genes measured remained comparable to uninfected animals. Increasing viral load was observed in the blood and peripheral tissues at 16 and 21 DPI, respectively, indicating systemic viral dissemination. Clinical signs of MCF were observed between 28 and 35 DPI and the severity of lesions increased as disease progressed. Lesion scores were positively correlated with expression levels of ORF25, suggesting a contribution of viral replication in the pathogenesis of SA-MCF. Viral transcripts were observed in all tissues examined from 23 DPI to the end of the experiment at 35 DPI and expression levels of ORF25 were significantly higher in clinically infected animals as compared to pre-clinical stage. The data from this study provide a predictable viral-host interaction time course to test hypotheses concerning disease pathogenesis as well as mitigation of SA-MCF in susceptible species.
Malignant catarrhal fever (MCF), a frequently fatal herpesviral disease primarily of ruminant species, has been sporadically reported in pigs. All cases of naturally occurring porcine MCF reported to date have been linked to ovine herpesvirus 2 (OvHV-2), a gammaherpesvirus in the genus Macavirus carried by sheep. Experimental induction of MCF by aerosolization of the virus in nasal secretions collected from infected sheep has been successful in bison, cattle and rabbits. The goals of this study were to determine the susceptibility of pigs to MCF following experimental intranasal inoculation of OvHV-2, and to characterize the disease. Twelve pigs in four groups were nebulized with 10(5), 10(6), 10(7), or 10(8) DNA copies of OvHV-2 from sheep nasal secretions. Three control pigs were nebulized with nasal secretions from uninfected sheep. Three additional pigs were inoculated intravenously with 10(7) DNA copies of OvHV-2 to evaluate this route of infection with cell-free virus. Seven of twelve intranasally challenged pigs became infected with OvHV-2. Five of these seven, all in higher dose groups, developed MCF. Lesions resembled those reported in natural cases of porcine MCF. The most striking and consistent histological lesions were in trachea, lung, kidney and brain. These comprised mucopurulent tracheitis, interstitial pneumonia, necrotizing arteritis-periarteritis, and nonpurulent meningoencephalitis. No infection was established in the intravenously challenged or control groups. The study showed that MCF can be experimentally induced in pigs by aerosol challenge using sheep nasal secretions containing OvHV-2. Domestic pigs are a natural clinically susceptible host for sheep-associated MCF. They represent a useful, cost-effective model for MCF research.
A 7-year-old Quarter Horse gelding was hospitalized in Ocala, Fla, because of lethargy, fever, anorexia, and swelling of distal aspects of the limbs. A tentative diagnosis of equine piroplasmosis (EP) was made on the basis of examination of a blood smear. The case was reported to the Florida State Veterinarian, and infection with Babesia equi was confirmed. The subsequent investigation included quarantine and testing of potentially exposed horses for B equi and Babesia caballi infections, tick surveillance, and owner-agent interviews.
To test the hypothesis that Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae is an important agent of the bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) pneumonia that has previously inevitably followed experimental commingling with domestic sheep (Ovis aries), we commingled M. ovipneumoniae-free domestic and bighorn sheep (n=4 each). One bighorn sheep died with acute pneumonia 90 days after commingling, but the other three remained healthy for >100 days. This unprecedented survival rate is significantly different (P=0.002) from that of previous bighorn-domestic sheep contact studies but similar to (P>0.05) bighorn sheep survival following commingling with other ungulates. The absence of epizootic respiratory disease in this experiment supports the hypothesized role of M. ovipneumoniae as a key pathogen of epizootic pneumonia in bighorn sheep commingled with domestic sheep.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.