Chlamydial infection in animals

Chlamydophila pecorum

Epidemiology

In sheep and cattle populations in the UK, C. pecorum infections of the intestinal tract are both endemic and chronic (Griffiths et al., 1192; 1996; Markey et al., 1993; Jones et al., 1997; Clarkson & Philips, 1997). C. pecorum infections have also been recognized from many other parts of the world. Intestinal carriage and faecal excretion onto pasture land probably plays a major but undefined role in the maintenance of this infection.

C. pecorum also causes disease of the reproductive tract of cattle and pigs [see: pig infections]. This may be analogous to the insidious progress of C. trachomatis genital tract infection in humans (Hitchcock, 1999), in which symptoms may go unnoticed for a considerable period but may lead to chronic sequelae such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility.

Although it is C. abortus that is primarily associated with spontaneous abortion in cattle and sheep, there is evidence that C. pecorum also causes pregancy wastage (Jones et al., 1993) endometritis and infertility (Jones et al., 1996; 1999, Magnino et al., 2000). However, as chlamydiae in such cases are shed from the female genital tract, it is unclear what role, if any, faecal excretion may have played in maintaining a pool of infection.

NEXT: C. pecorum : Clinical.

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Topic revision: r4 - 2011-04-01 - MeWard
 
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