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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Ames, Iowa » National Animal Disease Center » Ruminant Diseases and Immunology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #318063

Title: Bordetella bronchiseptica and fatal pneumonia of dogs and cats

item ABDELAZIZ, KHALED - University Of Guelph
item SCOTT, MELANIE - University Of Guelph
item CLARK, MARY ELLEN - University Of Guelph
item Register, Karen
item CASWELL, JEFF - University Of Guelph

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2015
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Bordetella bronchiseptica frequently causes nonfatal tracheobronchitis, but its role in fatal pneumonia is less well-studied. The objectives of this study were to identify the frequency of Bordetella bronchiseptica infection in fatal cases of bronchopneumonia in dogs and cats and to compare the diagnostic methods of culture, PCR, immunohistochemistry, and histologic identification of cilia-associated bacteria. Formalin-fixed case material and pathology records were retrieved from 5 years of archival material, including cases with diagnoses of bronchopneumonia or bacterial pneumonia, and excluding those that were neonates or had aspiration pneumonia, minor lung lesions, or alternative causes of respiratory signs. These criteria were met for 38 canine and 31 feline cases. Bordetella bronchiseptica was investigated by immunohistochemistry using a polyclonal antibody to pertactin, by PCR testing for the flagellin gene, and by bacterial culture data when available. Bordetella bronchiseptica was identified in 11/38 canine and 16/31 feline cases by either IHC, PCR or culture. Of these, IHC was positive in 6/11 canine and 7/16 feline cases, PCR was positive in 10/11 canine and 11/16 feline cases, and B. bronchiseptica was isolated in 2/4 canine and 3/8 feline cases tested. Histologic examination revealed bronchial cilia-associated bacteria in 5/31 feline and 9/38 canine cases, and all were positive by IHC, PCR or culture. In only 2 of these 14 cases were the presence of cilia-associated bacteria noted in the pathology report. Thus, Bordetella bronchiseptica was identified in 39% of fatal cases of bronchopneumonia, excluding those involving neonates or aspiration pneumonia. Cilia-associated bacteria seem frequently overlooked by pathologists, but is a specific albeit poorly sensitive feature. When only formalin-fixed tissues are available, PCR or IHC testing are useful for etiologic diagnosis. Identifying the specific cause is important because a vaccine is available and because of potential zoonotic risk to immunocompromised pet owners.