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Chlamydia-related abortions in Swiss cattle
In 2001, the first case of bovine chlamydial abortion was reported in canton Graubunden, Switzerland. In this region, Chlamydophila (Cp.) abortus is endemic in small ruminants. So the incidence of chlamydia-related abortions in cattle from this region was evaluated in this brandnew study - and a potential zoonotic risk was detected.

During breeding seasons of 2003–2004, formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded placenta specimens (n = 235) from late-term abortions in cattle were analyzed by histopathology, immunohistochemistry with a Chlamydiaceae-specific monoclonal antibody against chlamydial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), and 2 different polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods (16 S ribosomal ribonucleic acid [rRNA] PCR, intergenic spacer [IGS-S] PCR), followed by PCR product sequencing.

In 149 of 235 cases (63.4%), histopathologic lesions such as purulent and/or necrotizing placentitis were observed.

Chlamydial antigen was clearly demonstrated in immunohistochemistry in only 1 of 235 cases (0.4%). Cp. abortus or Cp. psittaci was found in 12 of 235 (5.1%) and 10 of 235 cases (4.2%) by 16 S rRNA PCR and IGS-S PCR, respectively.

However, we detected, by 16 S rRNA PCR, 43 of 235 cases (18.3%) to be positive for chlamydia-like organisms.

In contrast to the situation in small ruminants in the canton Graubunden, bovine abortion from Cp. abortus seems not to play an important role.

Nevertheless, zoonotic potential should be taken into account when handling abortion material from cattle. The significance of chlamydia-like isolates other than Waddlia chondrophila remains an open question in abortion and needs further investigation.



Source: N. Borel, et al (2006): Chlamydia-related abortions in Cattle from Graubunden, Switzerland. In: Vet Pathol 43:702-708 (2006)




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