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. 1993 Jun;54(6):882-90.

Intrauterine Transmission of Borrelia Burgdorferi in Dogs

  • PMID: 8323057

Intrauterine Transmission of Borrelia Burgdorferi in Dogs

J M Gustafson et al. Am J Vet Res. .


To determine whether intrauterine transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi could exist in dogs, 10 female Beagles were inoculated intradermally with approximately 1,000 B burgdorferi on day 1 of proestrus; inoculation was repeated every 2 weeks during the gestation period. Ten female control Beagles were similarly inoculated with phosphate-buffered saline solution. Prior to the start of the study, all females and 3 males used for breeding were seronegative for B burgdorferi on the basis of results of the indirect fluorescent antibody test and immunoblot (western analysis. Similarly, results of culture of blood for B burgdorferi were negative. All 20 of the females were bred naturally. Blood samples were collected weekly for serologic testing and culture. Blood samples were obtained from live pups on day 1 of life, then weekly until pups were 6 weeks old when they were euthanatized. Tissues were obtained for culture and testing by use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Of 10 spirochete-inoculated (SI) females, 8 became infected with B burgdorferi as evidenced by spirochete culture results and/or PCR-detected B burgdorferi DNA in the tissues of females or their pups. Of the 10 SI females, 8 delivered litters (3 to 7 pups) that had at least 1 neonatal or 6-week-old pup with B burgdorferi DNA-positive tissues (by PCR), and spirochetes were cultured from tissues from pups of 2 litters.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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