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Characterization of Pneumonia Due to Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus in Dogs

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Author(s)

Simon L. Priestnall, Kerstin Erles, Harriet W. Brooks, Jacqueline M. Cardwell, Andrew S. Waller, Romain Paillot, Carl Robinson, Alistair C. Darby, Matthew T. G. Holden, Sandra Schoeniger

School/Research organisations

Abstract

Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus has been linked to cases of acute fatal pneumonia in dogs in several countries. Outbreaks can occur in kenneled dog populations and result in significant levels of morbidity and mortality. This highly contagious disease is characterized by the sudden onset of clinical signs, including pyrexia, dyspnea, and hemorrhagic nasal discharge. The pathogenesis of S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus infection in dogs is poorly understood. This study systematically characterized the histopathological changes in the lungs of 39 dogs from a large rehoming shelter in London, United Kingdom; the dogs were infected with S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus. An objective scoring system demonstrated that S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus caused pneumonia in 26/39 (66.7%) dogs, and most of these dogs (17/26 [65.4%]) were classified as severe fibrino-suppurative, necrotizing, and hemorrhagic. Three recently described superantigen genes (szeF, szeN, and szeP) were detected by PCR in 17/47 (36.2%) of the S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus isolates; however, there was no association between the presence of these genes and the histopathological score. The lungs of S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus-infected dogs with severe respiratory signs and lung pathology did however have significantly higher mRNA levels of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and interleukin 8 (IL-8) than in uninfected controls, suggesting a role for an exuberant host immune response in the pathogenesis of this disease.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1790-1796
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Volume17
Issue number11
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

    Research areas

  • INFECTIOUS RESPIRATORY-DISEASE, FATAL HEMORRHAGIC PNEUMONIA, SUPERANTIGEN-ENCODING GENES, POLYMERASE-CHAIN-REACTION, BLOOD MONONUCLEAR-CELLS, TUMOR-NECROSIS-FACTOR, SHOCK-LIKE SYNDROME, SHELTER DOGS, IDENTIFICATION, EXOTOXIN

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