Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae

Contributor(s): Richard Walker

Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Genus:Erysipelothrix.
  • Species:rhusiopathiaeandtonsillarumare the only two species in the genus.

Etymology

  • Gr:erysipelas- erysipelas;thrix- hair;rhusios- red;pathos- disease.

Active Forms

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Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Widespread in the environment and has been isolated from over 50 species of mammals and 30 species of wild birds.
  • Can be isolated from apparently healthy pigs.
  • Saprophytic character in question.

Lifecycle

  • Found in gastrointestinal tract and lymphoid tissues of healthy animals.
  • Multiplication and pathogenesis depend on virulence of the strains and immunity of the host.

Transmission

  • Usually by ingestion.
  • Also through the skin via abrasions or bites.

Pathological effects

  • Partial immunity of the host and low virulence strains account for the localized skin form in pigs.
  • Chronic articular changes in joints of pigs due to damage caused by the immunologic response to the presence of bacterial antigens in the synovial fluid.
  • Strains vary in virulence; the more virulent produce higher levels neuroaminidase.
  • Pigs: acute septicemia, acute localized skin lesions (diamond skin disease), chronic vegetative endocarditis, chronic polyarthritis.
  • Birds: acute septicemia, chronic vegetative endocarditis and chronic arthritis.
  • Sheep: chronic polyarthritis in lambs via umbilicus or wounds, post-dipping lameness.
  • Horses: endocarditis   Heart: endocarditis  .
  • Other animals: various infections.
  • Humans: erysipeloid which is usually localized cutaneous form. May occasionally be generalized cutaneous form or septicemic.

Control

Control via chemotherapies

Vaccination

  • Bacterins used for vaccination of swine and turkeys.
  • Attenuated-live vaccines used in swine.

Diagnosis

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Seahorn T L et al  (1989) Erysipelothrix rhusiopathie bacteremia in a horse. Cornell Vet 79 (2), 151-156.
  • McCormick B S et al (1985) Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae vegetative endocarditis in a horse. Aust Vet J 62 (11), 392.

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