Bovine abortion represents a major animal welfare issue and a cause of substantial economic loss yet the rate of successful diagnosis remains low. Chlamydia-related organisms including Parachlamydia have recently emerged as putative cattle abortifacients. Placental tissue samples and fetal lung from bovine abortion submissions across Scotland in Spring 2011 were investigated by histopathology for the presence of suspect Chlamydia-related organisms. Evidence of Chlamydia-related organisms was observed in 21/113 (18.6%) placenta samples. Thirteen of the suspect cases and 18 histopathology negative cases were analysed by molecular and immunohistochemical methods. All samples were PCR positive for Parachlamydia but sequencing revealed high homology between identified environmental 16S sequences in all but three cases. Parachlamydial antigen was detected in 10/31 placental samples (32.2%) with pathology consistent with chlamydial infection. This work supports the need for further surveillance investigations and experimental studies to determine the role of Parachlamydia in bovine abortion.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.