Bovine Fetal Placenta During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period.

Botta, Carolina; Pellegrini, Giovanni; Hässig, Michael; Pesch, Theresa; Prähauser, Barbara; Wunderlin, Sabina; Guscetti, Franco; Schneeberger, Marianne; Schmitt, Sarah; Basso, Walter Ubaldo; Hilbe, Monika; Schuler, Gerhard; Borel, Nicole (2019). Bovine Fetal Placenta During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period. Veterinary pathology, 56(2), pp. 248-258. Sage 10.1177/0300985818806453

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

Bovine abortion is a worldwide problem, but despite extensive histopathologic and molecular investigations, the cause of abortion remains unclear in about 70% of cases. Cellular debris is a commonly observed histopathologic finding in the fetal placenta and is often interpreted as necrosis. In this study, the nature of this cellular debris was characterized, and histologic changes in the normal fetal placenta during pregnancy and after delivery were assessed. In addition, the presence of the most common abortifacient pathogens in Switzerland ( Chlamydiaceae, Coxiella burnetii, Neospora caninum) was tested by polymerase chain reaction. We collected 51 placentomes and 235 cotyledons from 41 and from 50 cows, respectively. In total, cellular debris was present in 48 of 51 (94%) placentomes and in 225 of 235 (96%) cotyledons, inflammation occurred in 1 of 51 (2%) placentomes and in 46 of 235 (20%) cotyledons, vasculitis was seen in 1 of 51 (2%) placentomes and 46 of 235 (20%) cotyledons, and 18 of 51 (35%) placentomes and 181 of 235 (77%) cotyledons had mineralization. The amount of cellular debris correlated with areas of positive signals for cleaved caspase 3 and lamin A. Therefore, this finding was interpreted as an apoptotic process. In total, 10 of 50 cotyledons (20%) were positive for C. burnetii DNA, most likely representing subclinical infections. The results of our study indicate that histologic features in the fetal placenta such as cellular debris, inflammation, vasculitis, and mineralization must be considered physiological processes during pregnancy and after delivery. Therefore, their presence in placentae of aborted fetuses must be interpreted with caution and might not be necessarily linked to an infectious cause of abortion.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Parasitology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)

UniBE Contributor:

Basso, Walter Ubaldo


600 Technology > 630 Agriculture
500 Science
500 Science > 590 Animals (Zoology)








Walter Ubaldo Basso

Date Deposited:

31 May 2019 13:35

Last Modified:

31 May 2019 13:35

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

abortion cattle cleaved caspase 3 cleaved lamin A histology immunohistochemistry placenta polymerase chain reaction postpartum period pregnancy


Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback