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Atypical actinobacillosis affecting hind limbs and lungs in a single beef cattle herd

Relun, Anne, Cesbron, Nora, Bourdeau, Patrick, Dorso, Laëtitia, Brement, Thomas, Assié, Sébastien, Christensen, Henrik, Guatteo, Raphaël
Journal of veterinary internal medicine 2019 v.33 no.1 pp. 297-301
Actinobacillus lignieresii, Gram-negative bacteria, beef cattle, biopsy, cachexia, clinical examination, cows, dermatitis, digestive tract, genes, herds, hindlimbs, histopathology, lameness, lungs, lymph nodes, lymphadenitis, parasites, pneumonia, tongue
Actinobacillosis usually is a sporadic infection that affects the tongue in cattle (“wooden tongue”) with possible spread to the digestive tract. Two 4‐year‐old Rouge‐des‐Prés cows from a single French beef herd were referred for chronic (2‐6 months) swelling and cutaneous nodules in the distal hind limbs. In addition to cutaneous signs, physical examination disclosed cachexia, lameness, lymphadenitis of the hind limbs, and pneumonia in both cows. Cytologic examination of direct skin smears was inconclusive, and no parasites were observed in examination of multiple skin scrapings. Histopathological examination of skin and lung biopsy specimens identified chronic, diffuse, severe pyogranulomatous dermatitis, associated with Splendore‐Hoeppli phenomenon and intralesional Gram‐negative bacteria. Cultures from skin, lymph nodes, and lungs (both cows were euthanized for welfare reasons) identified a Pasteurellaceae organism, confirmed as Actinobacillus lignieresii by partial sequencing of the rpoB gene. This report emphasizes that actinobacillosis can appear as a small outbreak in cattle with cutaneous and respiratory signs.