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J Clin Microbiol. 1985 Aug; 22(2): 192–198.
PMCID: PMC268357

Serum susceptibility of Haemophilus somnus from bovine clinical cases and carriers.


The serum susceptibility of 64 isolates of Haemophilus somnus from cattle was determined in a bactericidal assay with undiluted fresh or inactivated bovine serum with serial dilutions of bacterial suspension in RPMI 1640 medium. A total of 27 strains isolated from cattle with clinical disease (4 with thromboembolic meningoencephalitis, 13 with pneumonia, and 10 with reproductive failure) were compared with 35 strains from asymptomatic carriers (11 from the vagina and 24 from the prepuce). Essentially, all clinical isolates were serum resistant, whereas approximately 25% of preputial isolates were serum susceptible, as judged after 1 h of incubation in serum; a majority of vaginal isolates showed delayed serum susceptibility. Lysozyme played no role in serum killing, and the alternative complement pathway played only a minor role. Iron saturation, however, appeared to impart greater serum resistance to serum-susceptible strains from the vagina and prepuce. Perhaps the serum-susceptible strains from carriers would be useful vaccine candidates, but resistant strains from carriers may be pathogenic.

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