Chronic bovine besnoitiosis: intra-organ parasite distribution, parasite loads and parasite-associated lesions in subclinical cases.

Frey, Caroline; Gutiérrez-Expósito, D.; Ortega-Mora, L. M.; Benavides, J.; Marcén, J. M.; Castillo, J. A.; Casasús, I.; Sanz, A.; García-Lunar, P.; Esteban-Gil, A.; Álvarez-García, G. (2013). Chronic bovine besnoitiosis: intra-organ parasite distribution, parasite loads and parasite-associated lesions in subclinical cases. Veterinary parasitology, 197(1-2), pp. 95-103. Elsevier 10.1016/j.vetpar.2013.04.023

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Bovine besnoitiosis caused by Besnoitia besnoiti is a chronic and debilitating disease. The most characteristic clinical signs of chronic besnoitiosis are visible tissue cysts in the scleral conjunctiva and the vagina, thickened skin and a generally poor body condition. However, many seropositive animals remain subclinically infected, and the role that these animals may play in spreading the disease is not known. The aim of the present study was to assess the intra-organ parasite distribution, the parasite load and the parasite-associated lesions in seropositive but subclinically infected animals. These animals were seropositive at the time of several consecutive samplings, had visible tissue cysts in the past and, at time of slaughter, had detectable specific anti-Besnoitia spp. antibody levels, but they did not show evident clinical signs at culling. Thus, histopathological, immunohistochemical and molecular analyses of several samples from the respiratory tract, reproductive tract, other internal organs and skin from six cows were performed. The tissue cysts were located primarily in the upper respiratory tract, i.e., in the rhinarium and larynx/pharynx (four cows), followed by the distal genital tract (vulva/vagina) and the skin of the neck (three and two cows, respectively, out of the four cows with cysts in the respiratory tract). We were unable to detect any parasites in the two remaining cows. Cysts were associated with a significant non-purulent inflammatory infiltrate consisting predominantly of T lymphocytes and activated monocytes/macrophages in two cows. The parasite burden, estimated by quantitative real-time PCR, was very low. It is noteworthy that the only animal that showed a recent increase in the antibody titre had the highest parasite burden and the most conspicuous inflammatory reaction against the cysts. In conclusion, although these cows no longer displayed any visible signs of besnoitiosis, they remained infected. Therefore, cows without visible signs of disease may still be able to transmit the parasite.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Frey, Caroline

Subjects:

600 Technology > 630 Agriculture

ISSN:

0304-4017

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Susanne Portner

Date Deposited:

06 Aug 2014 16:43

Last Modified:

25 Jan 2016 15:58

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.vetpar.2013.04.023

PubMed ID:

23680543

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Besnoitia besnoiti, Bovine besnoitiosis, Histopathology, IHQ, Quantitative real-time PCR, Subclinical infection

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.44721

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/44721

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