Dermatopathology and immunity in experimental Psoroptes ovis (Acari:Psoroptidae) infestation of naive and previously exposed Hereford cattle

Am J Vet Res. 1986 Jul;47(7):1551-60.


Naive and previously exposed young Hereford cattle were infested with Psoroptes ovis and maintained in stanchions for 7 weeks. Skin biopsy samples were examined at 1, 2, 5, and 7 weeks after infestation was induced, compared with those from noninfested control calves, and correlated with changes in the mite populations and development of dermatitis. Gross and microscopic appearance of lesions were qualitatively similar in both groups of infested calves. The lesions occurred early in the previously exposed calves, but progressed slowly, whereas lesions in the naive calves appeared later, but were rapidly progressive. The basic histopathologic pattern was chronic exudative superficial perivascular dermatitis compatible with allergy. The mite populations on the naive calves revealed exponential growth and high fecundity, and reached high population densities, whereas mite populations on previously exposed calves had low growth rates and low fecundity and reached population densities 100 to 1,000 times less than those on naive calves. Seemingly, there was a hypersensitivity to mite antigens. The hypersensitivity response may have been a mechanism by which humoral immunity was delivered to the mite microenvironment and may have contributed to acquired resistance by controlling mite populations. The mechanism of population control seems to be related partially to decreased fecundity of female P ovis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Female
  • Fertility
  • Immunity
  • Mite Infestations / immunology
  • Mite Infestations / pathology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Skin / pathology*
  • Skin Diseases / immunology
  • Skin Diseases / pathology*
  • Time Factors