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Authors: Inmaculada Cuevas, Alfonso Carbonero, David Cano, Isabel L. Pacheco, Juan C. Marín and Carmen Borge


This paper describes the first documented outbreak of haemorrhagic septicaemia (HS) caused by Pasteurella multocida type B in cattle in Spain. This acute, highly fatal septicaemia causes major economic losses in cattle and buffaloes in many areas of Asia and Africa. In other species and in European countries it is an infrequently reported disease. Acute septicaemic pasteurellosis occurred in a free-range farm of 150 cattle and 70 beef calves in Southern Spain. Twenty-one calves and one cow were affected, of which three calves and the adult cow died. Postmortem examination revealed characteristic oedema in the ventral area of the neck and the brisket region, and widespread haemorrhages in all organs. Pure cultures of P. multocida were obtained from all tissues and organs studied. The aetiological agent was further confirmed by molecular and biochemical analysis as P. multocida capsular type B, biovar 3. Although the source of infection could not be determined, wildlife may play an important role. The use of tulathromycin in the initial stage of the disease might be related to the low morbidity and mortality of this outbreak. After using an autogenous vaccine no more cases of HS were observed.

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Partial genome sequence of a herpes-like virus, isolated from Siberian sturgeon ( Acipenser baeri ), was determined and subjected to phylogenetic analysis. The virus (SbSHV) has been shown to be the causative agent of an acute disease with high mortality in farmed juvenile sturgeons in Russia. Two fragments (of 7000 and 300 base pairs in length) encompassing 3 complete and 3 partial ORFs were amplified by PCR. Sturgeon herpesvirus strains, classified into species Acipenserid herpesvirus 2 (AciHV-2), have been isolated and partially sequenced from several regions (California, Idaho, Oregon and Canada) of North America from white ( A. transmontanus) and shortnose sturgeons ( A. brevirostrum ). The sequence of the SbSHV strain shared highest identity with that of the Canadian strain originating from shortnose sturgeon. The phylogenetic analysis also confirmed that SbSHV is closely related to AciHV-2 and could also be classified into this virus species. This is the first report on the occurrence of AciHV-2 in Europe. Previously, only another virus species, AciHV-1 has been detected in farmed white sturgeons in Italy. The size and position of ORFs in the examined gene block confirmed that this genomic region is highly conserved in members of the genus Ictalurivirus .

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The authors carried out microscopic examination of blood smears of 1438 dogs infected with Leishmania infantum. Unusual findings of leishmaniosis associated with circulating parasitised cells are described in four dogs. Most of the dogs presented severe illness, with lethargy, dysorexia, emaciation and alterations of the haematological pattern (anaemia, thrombocytopenia, neutrophilia and monocytosis). In three cases, leishmaniosis was associated with ehrlichiosis. On examination of peripheral blood smears, Leishmania sp. amastigotes were observed both in various circulating leukocytes (neutrophil, monocyte, macrophage) and free. In conclusion, parasites can rarely be detected in blood smears (in 0.28% of the animals examined); thus, the time-consuming microscopic search for amastigotes can make only a weak contribution to the conventional diagnosis of canine leishmaniosis.

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Temperament has not been taken into account in previous studies evaluating the stress response to exercise in horses. The aim of the present study was to investigate the cortisol response in Thoroughbred racehorses to a single exercise bout, and to analyse the results based on the basic personality of the horse examined. Twenty healthy Thoroughbred horses were selected for the study based on a 25-item rating questionnaire survey used for characterising equine temperament. Eight temperamental and twelve calm horses took part in the experiment. The horses trotted as a warm-up activity, and then galloped on a rounded sand track. Blood sampling was conducted four times for each horse. Horses with a more excitable temperament showed a higher cortisol response to the test (P = 0.036). In conclusion, cortisol levels in response to a mild intensive exercise can be affected by temperament in horses. Serum cortisol may be a relevant marker to quantify individual temperamental differences in racehorses.

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Authors: Sreten Nedić, Danijela Kirovski, Ivan Vujanac, Radiša Prodanović, Ljubomir Jovanović, Silvestra Kobal and Tomaž Snoj

The aim of this study was to compare hair corticosteroid concentrations in ectoparasiticide-treated (n = 10) and non-treated (n = 12) Holstein cows. Animals in the treated group received cyfluthrin three times, on days 0, 28 and 56 of the experiment. Hair samples were collected from all cows on days 0, 21, 42, 63, and 84 of the experiment for the determination of cortisol and corticosterone concentrations using immunoassays. The respective hair cortisol concentrations in the treated group averaged 209.78, 165.10, 260.78, 177.44 and 183.11 ng/g, while in the non-treated group hair cortisol concentrations averaged 172.58, 243.58, 309.73, 199.75 and 207.09 ng/g. These results indicate that the control of ectoparasites reduced hair cortisol levels in dairy cows. The respective hair corticosterone concentrations in the treated group averaged 19.06, 22.95, 21.95, 21.60 and 24.84 ng/g and in the non-treated group the hair corticosterone concentrations averaged 17.28, 21.94, 34.05, 26.27 and 26.91 ng/g. The results suggest that longterm stress can be estimated better by the determination of hair cortisol rather than corticosterone concentrations.

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Authors: Elisa Rampacci, Marco Masi, Francesco Carlo Origgi, Valentina Stefanetti, Marco Bottinelli, Paolo Selleri, Mauro Coletti and Fabrizio Passamonti

A retrospective study was conducted to investigate the presence of ferlavirus, ball python nidovirus and bacteria in 32 tracheobronchial lavages from ball pythons raised in captivity and affected by respiratory disease. A touchdown reverse transcription polymerase reaction (RT-PCR) was performed to detect ball python nidovirus RNA targeting a 260-bp portion of the ORF1a gene, while a nested RT-PCR was applied to identify RNA targeting the 518-bp ferlavirus partial L gene. RT-PCR positive products were submitted for Sanger’s sequencing and phylogeny reconstruction. Bacteriological examinations were performed to diagnose a possible bacterial involvement. BLAST analysis revealed that the nucleotide sequences of the six (18.8%) RT-PCR positive amplicons were 90–97% identical to the partial sequence of the ORF1a gene of the recently described ball python nidovirus. All tested snakes were negative for ferlavirus. Thirteen out of 32 samples (40.6%) were bacteriologically positive. Respiratory tract diseases can be a substantial problem for snake breeders, considering the rapid transmission of respiratory pathogens. The results and published studies show that ball python nidovirus is circulating in python collections and could be linked to suboptimal management practices. Surveillance programs are desirable as part of the routine snake health assessment. Tracheobronchial lavage is a fast, practical, cost-effective procedure for sample collection.

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Authors: Jun Sasaki, Megumi Toyoshima, Yasuhiko Okamura and Masanobu Goryo

A 10-year-old castrated male Beagle dog was presented with a 2-month history of intermittent vomiting and abdominal pain. The dog was referred to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Iwate University for further evaluation, and a splenic tumour was suspected on the basis of ultrasonography and computed tomography. Surgery identified a large, solid, light-pink mass on the greater omentum with blood-coloured ascites in the abdominal cavity, and resection was performed. Microscopically, the mass comprised spindle-shaped tumour cells and scattered osteoclast-like giant cells. Most spindle-shaped cells were positive for vimentin, desmin, and smooth muscle actin (α-SMA), whereas osteoclast-like giant cells were positive only for vimentin. On the basis of histopathological and immunohistochemical findings, a diagnosis of leiomyosarcoma was made. To the best of our knowledge, this represents the first report of leiomyosarcoma associated with osteoclast-like giant cells developing from the greater omentum in a dog.

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Authors: Marian Taulescu, Chiara Palmieri, Joshua Leach, Andras Nagy, Ciprian Ober, Mihai Cernea and Cornel Catoi

This case report describes the pathological findings of multiple congenital cardiac defects in a 2-year-old female Shetland pony with clinical signs of chronic respiratory distress. Persistent truncus arteriosus (PTA) type IV, interventricular septal defect, overriding aorta, pulmonary trunk agenesis, pulmonary arteries arising from the descending aorta, and compensatory right ventricular hypertrophy were observed.

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Fourteen long-legged ixodid ticks (6 nymphs and 8 larvae) were collected from Bechstein’s bat (Myotis bechsteinii) in Rochefort, Belgium. All ticks were morphologically identified as Ixodes ariadnae, based on their long legs (Haller’s organ longer than maximum diameter of tarsus I), broad palps and posteriorly reverse bell-shaped scutum with wavy surface. The DNA was extracted from these ticks, followed by PCR amplification of part of their cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene. All obtained sequences were 100% identical with each other, and with the COI sequence of I. ariadnae reported previously from Hungary and Germany. Taking into account that the collection site in the present study is close to the French border of Belgium, and migration of Bechstein’s bat is known between Belgium and France, it is reasonable to suppose that I. ariadnae also occurs in France. This is the first record of I. ariadnae in Western Europe, outside its formerly known geographical range (Central Europe).

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Authors: Gustavo A. Ramírez, Lorenzo Ressel, Jaume Altimira and Miquel Vilafranca

A 13-year-old male cat presented with an ill-defined mass in the rostral mandible causing destruction and loss of alveolar bone. Microscopically, the mass consisted of cords or islands of benign odontogenic epithelium and a malignant, pleomorphic spindle-shaped cell component with dysplastic dentine formation. Immunohistochemically, neoplastic mesenchymal cells proved to be strongly positive for vimentin and negative for cytokeratins, desmin, actin and S100 protein; the Ki67 proliferation index was high. Morphological and immunohistochemical features largely overlap those reported for ameloblastic fibrodentinosarcoma, an uncommon histologic subtype of odontogenic sarcoma recognised in humans but no reported previously in animals. Ki-67 expression assessment may help to discriminate between malignant and benign forms of odontogenic tumours but the final diagnosis is mainly morphological.

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