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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Eriksen, Lis
item Aalbaek, B
item Leifsson, P
item Basse, A
item Christiansen, T
item Eriksen, E
item Rimler, Richard - Rick

Submitted to: Journal of Zoo and Wildlife Medicine
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/10/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Hemorrhagic septicaemia (HS) is primarily a disease of cattle and buffalo which is caused by certain types of Pasteurella multocida. Occasionally the disease is reported in wild ruminants such as deer, elk, bison, and moose. This report is a case study describing 5 outbreaks of HS in park deer caused by P. multocida serotype B:3,4. Pathological lesions, isolation of the causative bacteria, and descriptions of the climatic conditions during the outbreaks are described. This is the first report of HS occurring in Denmark, and the findings are similar to those previously reported in elk herds in the United States and park deer in the United Kingdom. This information will be of use to those involved in wildlife management as well as those involved in farming of deer and elk. The findings indicate that HS is more widespread than previously supposed and that it should be considered in disease diagnosis when sudden death occurs in wild ruminants.

Technical Abstract: Four outbreaks of haemorrhagic septicaemia caused by Pasteurella multocida subspecies multocida occurred in a population of 1800 fallow deer during the years 1992-1996. A total of 3340 fallow deer were submitted for post- mortem examination. Pasteurellosis was diagnosed in 273 out of 312 fallow deer suspected of having septicaemia. P. Multocida was isolated from 257 animals, and the diagnosis was based on typical pathological lesions alone in 16 animals. P. multocida could be isolated in monoculture from 219 out of 248 samples of cerebrospinal fluid. The pathological lesions were dominated by extensive swelling of the head and the neck as well as peracute or acute septic pneumonia. Petechial and ecchymotic haemorrhages on serous membranes were prominent and the adrenal glads and abomasum were often severely haemorrhagic. Rhinitis was consistently found and the pharyngeal mucosa was frequently necrotic. Histologically, the most advanced lesions were found in the nasal mucosa and in the pharynx. The swelling of the head and the neck was a diffuse cellulitis in the subcutaneous and intermuscular tissues. The earliest lesions in the lungs consisted of a large number of bacteria in the pulmonary capillaries, but in most cases various degrees of fibrinous exudation to the alveoli and infiltration with heterophils were observed.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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