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Diphtheric aspergillosis tracheitis with gastrointestinal dissemination secondary to viral infections in a dairy calf

Selwyn Arlington Headley, Melissa Cristina Müller, Thalita Evani Silva de Oliveira, Caroline Ambiel Barros Gil Duarte, Priscilla Fajardo Valente Pereira, Marcos Vinícius Vieira, Cristina Wetzel Cunha, Eduardo Furtado Flores, Júlio Augusto Naylor Lisbôa, Lucienne Garcia Pretto-Giordano
Microbial pathogenesis 2020 v.149 pp. 104497
Alcelaphine gammaherpesvirus 1, Aspergillus fumigatus, Bovine alphaherpesvirus 1, Bovine viral diarrhea virus 1, Ovine gammaherpesvirus 2, aspergillosis, bovine respiratory disease, dairy calves, feedlots, fungal culture, hyphae, immunocompromised population, immunohistochemistry, immunosuppression, lesions (animal), lungs, malignant catarrhal fever, mixed infection, rhinitis, small intestine, trachea (vertebrates), tracheitis, viral antigens
Diphtheric aspergillosis tracheitis is an uncommon syndrome described in human pathology, usually associated with immunosuppression in the affected individuals. Interestingly, no comparative/equivalent cases were found in domestic animals. This report describes the pathological and mycological findings associated with diphtheric aspergillosis tracheitis in an immunocompromised calf. The main pathological findings were diphtheric tracheitis and rhinitis, and necrotizing ruminitis associated with intralesional septate, acute branching fungal hyphae consistent with Aspergillus spp. Mycological culture and isolation confirmed the fungal hyphae as A. fumigatus due to characteristic features. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) assays identified intralesional antigens of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) and malignant catarrhal fever virus (MCFV) at the trachea and small intestine; IHC detected intralesional antigens of bovine alphaherpesvirus 1 (BoHV-1) only at the trachea. These findings confirmed the simultaneous occurrence of A. fumigatus with concomitant infections due to BVDV, MCFV, and BoHV-1 in this calf. Since ovine gammaherpesvirus-2 (OvHV-2) is the cause of MCF in Brail, it is likely that the intralesional MCFV antigens identified were those of OvHV-2. In this case, disseminated aspergillosis was probably associated with the undeveloped immunological status of the calf that was further impaired due to the combined immunodepressive effects of BVDV and BoHV-1 infections. Although BVDV and BoHV-1 are infectious disease pathogens frequently associated with the development of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in feedlot and dairy cattle, the identification of intralesional OvHV-2-like antigens in several parts of the lungs suggest that this MCFV also played a role in the BRD-associated lesions identified in this calf.