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Respiratory infections of sheep.

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  • 1Istituto di Malattie Infettive, Universit√† di Perugia, Italy.


Sheep respiratory infections appear as differing clinical syndromes. Mild, acute infections are usually due to parainfluenza 3 (PI3) virus. A mild but chronic respiratory problem in lambs under 1 year old is thought to be caused by Mycoplasma ovipneumoniae probably in association with Pasteurella and PI3. Acute bacterial pneumonia usually results from infection with Pasteurella of biotype A. Infection with PI3 can initiate invasion by Pasteurella. Bordetella parapertussis infection has also been implicated. Serotypes of biotype T P. haemolytica cause an acute septicaemia. Stressful management practices may be a predisposing factor. Chronic proliferative pneumonia results from infection by retroviruses of pulmonary adenomatosis or maedi-visna. Both infections have incubation periods extending into years. The former produces fatal tumorous masses in the lungs. Diagnostic tests are being actively sought. Maedi-visna can present as several clinical problems, frequently as an insidious but fatal proliferative pneumonia.

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