First report and histological features of Chlamydia pecorum encephalitis in calves in New ZealandAuthors: Ha HJ, Fairley RA, Munday JS, Orbell GMB, Buckle KN, Lawrence KE, Hunt H
Publication: New Zealand Veterinary Journal, Volume 64, Issue 6, pp 364-368, Nov 2016
Publisher: Taylor and Francis
CASE HISTORY: Between September and October 2013, 40 of 150 crossbred Friesian dairy calves on a farm in the Manawatu region of New Zealand developed neurological signs when between 1 and 3 months of age. Calves were grazed in multiple mobs and calves from each mob were affected. A variable response was observed to initial treatment with thiamine, fluoroquinolone antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
CLINICAL AND PATHOLOGICAL FINDINGS: Affected calves exhibited a range of neurological signs that included generalised depression, hind limb ataxia with a stiff gait, and knuckling of the fetlocks. In advanced cases, calves became recumbent with opisthotonous. Over a 4-week period, 13 calves died or were subject to euthanasia and a thorough necropsy was performed on three of these calves. Necropsy findings included fibrinous peritonitis, pleuritis and pericarditis, with no gross abnormalities visible in the brain or joints. Histology of the brain was possible in seven of the affected calves, with lesions ranging from lymphocytic and histiocytic vasculitis and meningoencephalitis, to extensive thrombosis and neutrophilic inflammation. Immunohistochemistry using an anti-chlamydial lipopolysaccharide antibody revealed positive immuno-staining in all seven cases, with no brain samples exhibiting immunostaining for
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: This is the first time that
KEY WORDS: Cattle, Chlamydia pecorum, sporadic bovine encephalomyelitis, brain, histology