Comparative histopathology and antibody responses of non-Tritrichomonas foetus trichomonad and Tritrichomonas foetus genital infections in virgin heifers

D. W. Agnew, L. Munson, E. R. Cobo, D. Olesen, L. B. Corbeil, Robert Bondurant

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The potential pathogenicity of non-Tritrichomonas foetus trichomonads (NTfTs) recently isolated from the prepuce of virgin bulls is not known. The purpose of this study was to determine the ability of these NTfTs to cause disease in the female reproductive tract relative to T. foetus. Forty-four virgin heifers were experimentally infected intravaginally with either one of two NTfTs (Pentatrichomonas hominis or Tetratrichomonas spp.), T. foetus, or sterile media and cultured weekly from 0 time until slaughter at 8 weeks. Serum and vaginal antibody responses during infection were assessed, and the reproductive tracts were histologically examined, scored, and compared based on numbers of neutrophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, and plasma cells as well as the qualitative appearance of the reproductive tract. The NTfTs did not persist in the reproductive tract, while T. foetus persisted for at least 6-8 weeks. Further, no vaginal IgA response to infection was found in NTfT-infected and control heifers, but a vaginal IgA response was present in the T. foetus-infected group. Heifers infected with NTfT or controls showed little mucosal inflammatory response compared to T. foetus-infected heifers. Among the trichomonads studied, persistent infection by T. foetus alone seems responsible for uterine inflammatory lesions usually associated with pregnancy loss. The NTfTs studied in this work only transiently infected the vagina and were associated with strictly mild inflammatory changes, which probably do not cause significant disease, i.e., pregnancy loss.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-180
Number of pages11
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Volume151
Issue number2-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 14 2008

Keywords

  • Experimental infection
  • Non-Tritrichomonas foetus trichomonads
  • NTfTs
  • Pathogenicity
  • Pentatrichomonas hominis
  • Tetratrichomonas spp.
  • Tritrichomonas foetus
  • Virulence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Parasitology
  • veterinary(all)

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