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Am J Vet Res. 1983 Jun;44(6):1040-8.

Epizootic bovine abortion: histogenesis of the fetal lesions.


The development of the fetal lesions of epizootic bovine abortion (EBA) was studied in a series of experiments and field cases of the disease. Thirty-six experimentally infected fetuses were recovered at periods of 29 to 126 days after their dams had been infected by allowing the vector tick Ornithodorus coriaceus to feed on them. The sequential development of the fetal lesions was studied and the lesions compared with those in both naturally occurring and experimentally induced infections of the dams which either aborted or carried to term. The early changes observed in the fetuses consisted of transformation and proliferation of lymphocytes and mononuclear phagocytes. These changes were marked by 50 days after tick exposure of the dams, but fetal lesions specific enough to permit making the diagnosis of the disease did not develop until 100 days after dams were exposed by tick feeding. In the fetuses which were either aborted or carried to term after prolonged infection, acute necrotizing lesions were superimposed on the chronic proliferative fetuses. Acute necrotizing foci developed in several organs, but most commonly in lymph nodes and spleen. These foci frequently formed pyogranulomas. Acute vasculitis developed at the same time as the acute focal-necrotizing lesions. These lesions were similar to immune-mediated lesions that result from the deposition of toxic complexes in the tissues. Immunofluorescent examination demonstrated that immunoglobulins (Ig)G and IgM were present in the vascular lesions.

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