Concurrent spirochaetal infections of the feet and colon of cattle in Japan

By Ishii, R. and Ishikawa, Y. and Kadota, K. and Maeda, T. and Ogihara, Y. and Ohya, T. and Shibahara, T., Australian Veterinary Journal, 2002
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Objective To describe spirochaetal infections in the feet and colon of cattle affected with papillomatous digital dermatitis (PDD) and colitis respectively. Procedure Eighty-two slaughtered animals were macroscopically examined for the presence of PDD. Tissues of two cattle affected with PDD were examined by histology, immunohistochemistry, electron microscopy and bacteriology for spirochaetal infection. Results Two adult cattle (a 2-year-old beef bullock and 7-year-old Holstein dairy cow) were affected with PDD. Histologically, numerous argyrophilic and Gram-negative filamentous or spiral spirochaetes were found deep in the PDD lesions. Epithelial and goblet cell hyperplasia and oedema of the lamina propria mucosa with macrophage and lymphocyte infiltration were observed in the caecum and colon in the cattle. Numerous spirochaetes were present in the crypts and some had invaded epithelial and goblet cells, and caused their degeneration. Immunohistochemically the organisms stained positively with polyclonal antisera against Treponema pallidum and Brachyspira (Serpulina) hyodysenteriae. Ultrastructurally, the intestinal spirochaetes were similar to the spirochaetes in PDD. They were 6 to 14 pm long, 0.2 to 0.3 mum wide and had 4 to 6 coils and 9 axial filaments per cell. Campylobacter species were isolated from the PDD and intestinal lesions, but spirochaetes were not. Conclusion Concurrent infections with morphologically similar spirochaetal organisms may occur in the feet and colon of cattle in Japan.
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