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Pol J Vet Sci. 2010;13(3):437-45.

Epidemiological features of Morel's disease in goats.

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  • 1Department of Small Animal Diseases with Clinic, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Nowoursynowska 159c, 02-776 Warsaw, Poland.


Morel's disease caused by Staphylococcus aureus subsp. anaerobius was diagnosed for the first time in Poland in October 2006 in a goat flock. A second infected flock was found two months later. The course of the disease in both flocks was observed for 15-17 months. Clinical manifestation was confined to abscesses located near major superficial lymph nodes, mostly: superficial cervical, subiliac, parotid and mandibular. At necropsy no other lesions were found. The incubation period was estimated at 3 weeks. Clinical signs were seen both in young and adult goats and up to 7 abscesses in one animal were noted. Abscesses tended to persist for 1 to 5 months, then rupture and heal completely. The initial high in-flock point prevalence in both flocks (93.6% and 84.4%) dropped to approximately 10-30% during next 3-4 months. Until the end of the observation period the in-flock point prevalence remained at this level and only single abscesses were observed, mainly in young animals. No influence of the concurrent caprine arthritis encephalitis virus (CAEV) infection on the clinical course of Morel's disease was noticed. It is to be concluded that the clinical course of Morel's disease in a goat flock resembles caseous lymphadenitis (CLA). However, in Morel's disease abscesses occur more frequently in young goats and are located near, not inside, the lymph nodes, as in the case with CLA. Also, the incubation period of Morel's disease seems to be shorter (3 weeks versus 2-6 months in CLA).

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