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Ultrastructural observation of the airways of recovered and susceptible pigs after inoculation with Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae

Author(s): Irigoyen Luiz Francisco | Van Alstine William | Turek John | Clark L. Kirk

Journal: Pesquisa VeterinĂ¡ria Brasileira
ISSN 0100-736X

Volume: 18;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 1998;
Original page

Keywords: Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae | enzootic pneumonia | swine

To determine the morphological differences in the epithelium of the airways of recovered and susceptible pigs after Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae challenge, twenty-four 4-week-old M. hyopneumoniae-free pigs were intratracheally inoculated with 107ccu/ml of a pure low-passaged culture of the P5722-3 strain of M. hyopneumoniae challenge material. Eight pigs (group I) were challenged at the beginning of the experiment and rechallenged 3 months later. Group II pigs were also challenged at the beginning of the experiment and necropsied 3 months later. Group III pigs were challenged at the same time as the rechallenge of group I pigs. Eight nonchallenged pigs served as controls (group IV). Three days after the second challenge of group I and the first challenge of group III, and every 3 and 4 days thereafter, two pigs from each group were euthanatized by electrocution and necropsied. Samples of bronchi and lung tissue were examined using light and electron microscopy (SEM and TEM). Macroscopic lesions were observed in the lungs of all group III pigs (average = 4.74%) and were characterized by purple-red areas of discoloration and increased firmness affecting the cranioventral aspect of the lungs. Macroscopic lesions of pneumonia in groups I and II were minimal (less than 1%). There were no gross lesions of pneumonia in control (group IV) pigs. Microscopic lesions were characterized by hyperplasia of the peribronchial lymphoid tissue and mild neutrophilic infiltrates in alveoli. Electron microscopy showed patchy areas with loss of cilia and presence of leukocytes and mycoplasmas in bronchi of susceptible pigs (group III). The bronchial epithelium of rechallenged (group I), recovered (group II), and control (group IV) pigs was ultrastructurally similar indicating recovery of the former two groups. Although mycoplasmas were seen among cilia, a second challenge on pigs of group I did not produce another episode of the disease nor did it enhance morphological changes, suggesting that those pigs could become carriers of M. hyopneumoniae.
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