Postepizootic Persistence of Asymptomatic Mycoplasma conjunctivae Infection in Iberian Ibex.

Fernández-Aguilar, Xavier; Cabezón, Oscar; Granados, José Enrique; Frey, Joachim; Serrano, Emmanuel; Velarde, Roser; Cano-Manuel, Francisco Javier; Mentaberre, Gregorio; Ráez-Bravo, Arián; Fandos, Paulino; López-Olvera, Jorge Ramón (2017). Postepizootic Persistence of Asymptomatic Mycoplasma conjunctivae Infection in Iberian Ibex. Applied and environmental microbiology, 83(15) American Society for Microbiology 10.1128/AEM.00690-17

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The susceptibility of the Iberian ibex () toocular infection and the changes in their interaction over time were studied in terms of clinical outcome, molecular detection, and IgG immune response in a captive population that underwent a severe infectious keratoconjunctivitis (IKC) outbreak.was detected in the Iberian ibex, coinciding with the IKC outbreak. Its prevalence had a decreasing trend in 2013 that was consistent with the clinical resolution (August, 35.4%; September, 8.7%; November, 4.3%). Infections without clinical outcome were, however, still detected in the last handling in November. Sequencing and cluster analyses of thestrains found 1 year later in the ibex population confirmed the persistence of the same strain lineage that caused the IKC outbreak but with a high prevalence (75.3%) of mostly asymptomatic infections and with lower DNA load ofin the eyes (mean quantitative PCR [qPCR] cycle threshold [], 36.1 versus 20.3 in severe IKC). Significant age-related differences ofprevalence were observed only under IKC epizootic conditions. No substantial effect of systemic IgG onDNA in the eye was evidenced with a linear mixed-models selection, which indicated that systemic IgG does not necessarily drive the resolution ofinfection and does not explain the epidemiological changes observed. The results show how both epidemiological scenarios, i.e., severe IKC outbreak and mostly asymptomatic infections, can consecutively occur by entailing mycoplasma persistence.infections are reported in a wide range of epidemiological scenarios that involve severe disease to asymptomatic infections. This study allows a better understanding of the transition between two differentepidemiological scenarios described in wild host populations and highlights the ability ofto adapt, persist, and establish diverse interactions with its hosts. The proportion of asymptomatic and clinicalinfections in a host population may not be regarded only in response to intrinsic host species traits (i.e., susceptibility) but also to a specific host-pathogen interaction, which in turn influences the infection dynamics. Both epidemic infectious keratoconjunctivitis and a high prevalence of asymptomaticinfections may occur in the same host population, depending on the circulation of, its maintenance, and the progression of the host-pathogen interactions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Host-Pathogen Interaction
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology

UniBE Contributor:

Frey, Joachim


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology




American Society for Microbiology




Achim Braun Parham

Date Deposited:

22 May 2018 14:35

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 06:23

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Capra pyrenaica Iberian ibex asymptomatic infection host-pathogen interactions infection persistence infectious keratoconjunctivitis molecular epidemiology virulence




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