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Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd. 1996;138(12):596-9.

[Isolation of Corynebacterium diphtheriae subsp. belfanti from a cow with chronic active dermatitis].

[Article in German]

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Institute für Veterinärbakteriologie, Universität Zürich.


Diphtheria is an acute communicable disease of man caused by C. diphtheriae. Pharyngeal and cutaneous forms are described, where from both toxigenic and nontoxigenic strains can be isolated. The occurrence of C. diphtheriae in dairy cattle has already been reported in the past. The pathogens were isolated from ulcerated teats and from the milk of cows with mastitis as well. These animals were considered to play a role in the transmission of the disease to man. This paper describes the isolation and characterization of C. diphtheriae in a 4 years old cow with generalized, partly ulcerative and purulent skin lesions. Bacteriological examination revealed the presence of very numerous corynebacterium-like organisms, which were characterized as C. diphtheriae subsp. belfanti, a nontoxigenic subspecies of C. diphtheriae. The significance of C. diphtheriae in veterinary medicine and the possible role of cattle as a reservoir of these organisms are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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