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Res Vet Sci. 2011 Feb;90(1):20-2. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2010.05.009. Epub 2010 Jun 8.

Evaluation on the pathogenicity of Erysipelothrix tonsillarum for pigs by immunosuppression with cyclophosphamide or dexamethasone.

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National Veterinary Assay Laboratory, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, 1-15-1 Tokura, Kokubunji, Tokyo 185-8511, Japan.


The pathogenicity of Erysipelothrix tonsillarum was evaluated in pigs immunosuppressed with cyclophosphamide (CY) or dexamethasone (DM). Animals were treated with 15 mg/kg CY (n=8, five injections), 1 mg/kg DM (n=8, nine injections) or left untreated (n=8). On the fifth day after the beginning of drug treatments, swine were inoculated with one of two E. tonsillarum serovar 7 strains (approximately 10(6) CFU per pig). In the CY-treated group, both circulating neutrophil and lymphocyte counts decreased, whereas in the DM-treated group, lymphocyte counts decreased but neutrophil counts increased. During the observation period, none of the CY- or DM-treated pigs developed clinical signs or gross lesions, as well as non-treated pigs. Growth agglutination antibody titres in all pigs remained unchanged. Our findings indicate that E. tonsillarum strains are avirulent for swine, regardless of immune status.

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