ISSN 2398-2969      

Treponema cuniculi

Clapis

Synonym(s): Treponema paraluis-cuniculi


Introduction

Classification

Taxonomy

  • Order: Spirochetalis.
  • Family: Spirochetaceae.
  • Genus: Treponema.
  • Species: cuniculi or paraluis-cuniculi.

Etymology

  • Gk: trepein - turn + Gk: nema - thread.
  • L: cuniculi - rabbit, underground passage.

Active Forms

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Clinical Effects

Epidemiology

Habitat

  • Does not survive outside the host.

Transmission

  • Venereal.
  • Direct contact - affected does can infect kits at birth or via the milk.
  • Vertical transmission commonly occurs as kits are infected from the birth canal.

Pathological effects

  • Humoral antibodies can be detected in exposed and infected rabbits.
  • Infection stimulates a polymorphonuclear cell response, then infiltration of plasma cells and macrophages.
  • Causes venereal spirochetosis of rabbits.
  • Lesions are usually limited to vulval or preputial skin and appear as papules, ulcers or hyperkeratosis.
  • Lesions begin as areas of hyperemia and edema and progress to large papillary nodules that can become crusty.
  • Lesions may also occur on the nose, lips, chin, face, eyelids, ears and paws, due to the social and grooming habits of the rabbit. 
  • Spirochetemia has been reported.

Other Host Effects

  • Subclinical infection is possible, with overt disease precipitated by stress or immunosuppression.

Control

Control via animal

  • Often self-limiting.
  • Treponemas are susceptible to antibiotics.
  • May be eliminated from a colony by selective breeding of virgin females.
  • Also consider quarantine of new animals and possible serological testing of new animals during quarantine.

Control via chemotherapies

  • Penicillin Penicillin is the treatment of choice - usually given in the form of three long-acting injections given subcutaneously a week apart:
    • Dose rates vary widely, but general 42-84 mg/kg penicillin weekly for 3 treatments.
    • Long-acting amoxicillin may also be used via the same regime.
    • Monitor for dysbiosis during treatment and provide a good quality high fiber diet and probiotic.
  • Tetracycline Tetracycline and chloramphenicol Chloramphenicol are also effective.
  • Treat all in contact animals.
  • Analgesia Analgesia should also be provided.

Control via environment

  • Does not survive for long away from the host.

Other countermeasures

  • Selective breeding of virgin females may be able to eliminate spirochetosis from a colony.

Diagnosis

This article is available in full to registered subscribers

Sign up now to obtain ten tokens to view any ten Vetlexicon articles, images, sounds or videos, or Login

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Scarff D (2008) Skin diseases of pet rabbits. UK Vet: Companion Animal 13 (2), 66-75 VetMedResource.
  • Centurion-Lara A, Castro C, Castillo R et al (1998) The flanking region sequences of the 15-kDa lipoprotein gene differentiate pathogenic treponemes. J Infect Dis 177 (4), 1036-1040 PubMed.
  • DiGiacomo R F, Talburt C D, Lukehart S A et al (1983) Treponema paraluis-cuniculi infection in a commercial rabbitry: epidemiology and serodiagnosis. Lab Anim Sci 33 (6), 562-565 PubMed.
  • Cunliffe-Beamer T L & Fox R R (1981) Venereal spirochetosis of rabbits: description and diagnosis. Lab Anim Sci 31 (4), 366-371 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Varga M (2014) Skin Disease. In: Textbook of Rabbit Medicine. 2nd edn. Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford. pp 271-302.
  • Meredith A (2006) Skin Diseases and Treatment of Rabbits. In: Skin Diseases of Exotic Pets. Eds: Patterson S. Blackwell Publishing. pp 288-311.

Can’t find what you’re looking for?

We have an ever growing content library on Vetlexicon so if you ever find we haven't covered something that you need please fill in the form below and let us know!