An unusual case of bovine anthrax in the canton of Jura, Switzerland in 2017.

Gobeli, Stefanie; Kittl, Sonja; Dettwiler, Martina; Thomann, Andreas; Feyer, Simon; Cachim, José; Theubet, Grégoire; Liechti, Nicole; Wittwer, Matthias; Schürch, Nadia; Oberhänsli, Simone; Heinimann, Andreas; Jores, Jörg (2019). An unusual case of bovine anthrax in the canton of Jura, Switzerland in 2017. BMC veterinary research, 15(1), p. 265. BioMed Central 10.1186/s12917-019-1996-4

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BACKGROUND Anthrax caused by Bacillus anthracis is a zoonotic disease mainly affecting herbivores. The last Swiss outbreak was over 20 years ago. We describe a recent anthrax outbreak involving two cows from the same herd. One cow was designated as a peracute clinical case with sudden death and typical lung lesions, while the other cow presented with protracted fever and abortion. CASE PRESENTATION On April 29th 2017, a 3.5-year-old Montbéliard dairy cow was found dead while out at pasture with haemorrhage from the nose. The veterinarian suspected pneumonia and performed a necropsy on site. Subsequently, a lung and liver sample were sent to the laboratory. Unexpectedly, Bacillus anthracis was isolated, a pathogen not found in Switzerland for decades. Several days later, a second cow from the same farm showed signs of abortion after protracted fever. Since these symptoms are not typical for anthrax, and the bacteria could not be demonstrated in blood samples from this animal, a necropsy was performed under appropriate biosafety measures. Subsequently, Bacillus anthracis could be isolated from the placenta and the sublumbal lymph nodes but not from the blood, liver, spleen and kidney. The outbreak strain (17OD930) was shown to belong to the lineage B.Br.CNEVA, the same as Swiss strains from previous outbreaks in the region. We speculate that the disease came from a temporarily opened cave system that is connected to an old carcass burial site and was flushed by heavy rainfall preceding the outbreak. CONCLUSION Even in countries like Switzerland, where anthrax is very rare, new cases can occur after unusual weather conditions or ground disturbance. It is important for public officials to be aware of this risk to avoid possible spread.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)

Division/Institute:

05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Veterinary Public Health / Herd Health Management
05 Veterinary Medicine > Research Foci > Host-Pathogen Interaction
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Animal Pathology
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP)
10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Gobeli, Stefanie; Kittl, Sonja; Dettwiler, Martina Andrea; Thomann, Andreas; Feyer, Simon; Liechti, Nicole; Oberhänsli, Simone; Heinimann, Andreas and Jores, Jörg

Subjects:

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

ISSN:

1746-6148

Publisher:

BioMed Central

Language:

English

Submitter:

Sonja Kittl

Date Deposited:

08 Aug 2019 11:33

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 22:18

Publisher DOI:

10.1186/s12917-019-1996-4

PubMed ID:

31357988

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Abortion Anthrax Bovine Cave Switzerland

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.132380

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/132380

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