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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » Animal Disease Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #374733

Research Project: Diagnostic and Control Strategies for Malignant Catarrhal Fever

Location: Animal Disease Research

Title: Diphtheric aspergillosis tracheitis with gastrointestinal dissemination secondary to viral infections in a dairy calf

item HEADLEY, SELWYN - State University Of Londrina
item MULLER, MELISSA - State University Of Londrina
item OLIVEIRA, THALITA - State University Of Londrina
item DUARTE, CAROLINE - State University Of Londrina
item PEREIRA, PRICILLA - State University Of Londrina
item VIEIRA, MARCOS - State University Of Londrina
item Cunha, Cristina
item FLORES, EDUARDO - Universidade Federal De Santa Maria
item LISBOA, JULIO - State University Of Londrina
item PRETTO-GIORDANO, LUCIENNE - State University Of Londrina

Submitted to: Microbial Pathogenesis
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/3/2020
Publication Date: 9/8/2020
Publication URL:
Citation: Headley, S.A., Muller, M.C., de Oliveira, T.E.S., Barros Gil Duarte, C.A., Valente Pereira, P.F., Vieira, M.V., Cunha, C.W., Flores, E.F., Lisboa, J.A.N., Pretto-Giordano, L.G. 2020. Diphtheric aspergillosis tracheitis with gastrointestinal dissemination secondary to viral infections in a dairy calf. Microbial Pathogenesis. 149. Article 104497.

Interpretive Summary: The present report describes a case of diphtheric aspergillosis tracheitis in a daily calf. Isolation of Aspergillus fumigatus associated to pathological findings related to micotic infection in the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems confirmed the diagnosis. The fungal disease probably initiated within the respiratory system and then gain entry to the digestive tract. Concomitant infection with bovine viral diarrhea virus, bovine alphaherpesvirus 1 and a malignant catarrhal fever virus were also identified, which may have predisposed the calf to the fungal infection and consequent disease.

Technical Abstract: Diphtheric aspergillosis tracheitis is an uncommon syndrome described in human pathology, usually associated with immunosuppression in the affected individuals. Interestingly, no comparative/equivalent cases were found in domestic animals by searching major data bases. This report describes the pathological and mycological findings associated with diphtheric aspergillosis tracheitis in an immunocompromised calf. The main pathological findings were diphtheric tracheitis and rhinitis, and necrotizing ruminitis associated with intralesional septate, acute branching fungal hyphae consistent with Aspergillus spp. Mycological culture and isolation confirmed the fungal hyphae as A. fumigatus due to characteristic features. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) assays identified intralesional antigens of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) and a malignant catarrhal fever virus (MCFV) at the trachea and small intestine; IHC detected intralesional antigens of bovine alphaherpesvirus 1 (BoHV-1) only at the trachea. These findings confirmed the simultaneous occurrence of A. fumigatus with concomitant infections due to BVDV, MCFV, and BoHV-1 in this calf. In this case, disseminated aspergillosis was probably associated with the undeveloped immunological status of the calf that was further impaired due to the combined immunodepressive effects of BVDV and BoHV-1 infections. Although BVDV and BoHV-1 are infectious disease pathogens frequently associated with the development of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in feedlot and dairy cattle, the identification of intralesional MCFV antigens in several parts of the lungs suggest that viruses in the MCFV group also played a role in the BRD-associated lesions identified in this calf.