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Journal: Journal of veterinary diagnostic investigation : official publication of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, Inc


Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and alimentary lymphoma (ALA) are common gastrointestinal diseases in cats. The very similar clinical signs and histopathologic features of these diseases make the distinction between them diagnostically challenging. We tested the use of supervised machine-learning algorithms to differentiate between the 2 diseases using data generated from noninvasive diagnostic tests. Three prediction models were developed using 3 machine-learning algorithms: naive Bayes, decision trees, and artificial neural networks. The models were trained and tested on data from complete blood count (CBC) and serum chemistry (SC) results for the following 3 groups of client-owned cats: normal, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or alimentary lymphoma (ALA). Naive Bayes and artificial neural networks achieved higher classification accuracy (sensitivities of 70.8% and 69.2%, respectively) than the decision tree algorithm (63%, p < 0.0001). The areas under the receiver-operating characteristic curve for classifying cases into the 3 categories was 83% by naive Bayes, 79% by decision tree, and 82% by artificial neural networks. Prediction models using machine learning provided a method for distinguishing between ALA-IBD, ALA-normal, and IBD-normal. The naive Bayes and artificial neural networks classifiers used 10 and 4 of the CBC and SC variables, respectively, to outperform the C4.5 decision tree, which used 5 CBC and SC variables in classifying cats into the 3 classes. These models can provide another noninvasive diagnostic tool to assist clinicians with differentiating between IBD and ALA, and between diseased and nondiseased cats.

Concepts: Gastroenterology, Artificial intelligence, Decision tree, Neural network, Supervised learning, Inflammatory bowel disease, Decision tree learning, Machine learning


Dogs with a 4-bp deletion in the MDR1 (or ABCB1) gene show intolerance to certain drugs routinely used in veterinary medicine, such as ivermectin, vincristine, and doxorubicin. The mutation leads to a dysfunctional P-glycoprotein drug transporter, which results in drug accumulation in the brain and severe neurotoxicity. A rapid and accurate in-house test to determine the genotype of patients in cases of acute neurotoxic signs or in tumor patients is desirable. We describe a cost-effective detection method with simple technical equipment for veterinary practice. Two allele-specific methods are presented, which allow discrimination of all genotypes, require little hands-on time, and show the results within ~1 h after DNA sampling. DNA from buccal swabs of 115 dogs with known genotype (no mutation, n = 54; heterozygous for the mutation, n = 37; homozygous for the mutation, n = 24) was extracted either by using a column-based extraction kit or by heating swabs in a simple NaOH-Tris buffer. Amplification was performed either by allele-specific fast polymerase chain reaction or by allele-specific loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). Analysis was done either on agarose gels, by simple endpoint visualization using ultraviolet light, or by measuring the increase of fluorescence and time to threshold crossing. Commercial master mixes reduced the preparation time and minimized sources of error in both methods. Both methods allowed the discrimination of all 3 genotypes, and the results of the new methods matched the results of the previous genotyping. The presented methods could be used for fast individual MDR1/ ABCB1 genotyping with less equipment than existing methods.

Concepts: Ultraviolet, Evolution, Agarose gel electrophoresis, Zygosity, Molecular biology, Polymerase chain reaction, Genetics, DNA


Respiratory diseases in pigs are mostly polymicrobial, and the involved pathogens can vary from farm to farm. The impact ofPneumocystis carinii(P. c.) f. sp.suison respiratory disorders has not been comprehensively appraised because tests were limited to lung tissue samples and, for this reason, it was not possible to detect the fungus in living animals. In the present study, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from 12 pigs and oral fluid samples from 9 pigs were tested for the presence ofPneumocystisby quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. The results from these 2 clinical specimens were compared withPneumocystisquantities in lung tissue samples.Pneumocystisquantities in BALF correlated significantly to those in lung tissue. BALF has proved to be an adequate specimen for detection of various respiratory pathogens in pigs, and the collection procedure directly on farms is also well established. In contrast to the BALF results, all oral fluid samples were negative. Thus, specimens from the lower respiratory tract should generally be preferred for the detection ofPneumocystis Additionally, under farm conditions, oral fluid is mainly collected in the form of collective samples per pen. In the present study, oral swab sampling of individual pigs was intended but failed in 3 of 12 pigs because they did not salivate sufficiently. As a conclusion, only BALF can be recommended as a useful tool forPneumocystisherd monitoring in vivo.

Concepts: Molecular biology, Enzyme, Upper respiratory tract, Respiratory system, Real-time polymerase chain reaction, Bronchoalveolar lavage, Polymerase chain reaction, Pulmonology


Bovine respiratory disease continues to be the most important ailment of feed yard cattle. While the disease is multifactorial in nature, therapy continues to target the primary bacterial pathogens, Mannheimia haemolytica, Pasteurella multocida, and Histophilus somni. A survey of records from a single diagnostic laboratory was conducted to evaluate the percentage of M. haemolytica isolates that were resistant to multiple antimicrobials and if coresistance patterns could be detected. All susceptibility test results for M. haemolytica recovered from lung tissues of cattle were eligible for inclusion in the survey. There were no isolates over the course of the analysis that were resistant to all 6 antimicrobials, primarily due to a lack of resistance to ceftiofur. In 2009, just over 5% of isolates were resistant to 5 or more antimicrobials (pan-resistant). In 2011, more than 35% of the M. haemolytica isolates were characterized as pan-resistant. Significant antimicrobial coresistance patterns were only seen with oxytetracycline and tilmicosin; bacterial isolates that were resistant to either oxytetracycline or tilmicosin were more likely to be resistant to at least one other antimicrobial. The mechanisms by which M. haemolytica is developing multidrug resistance warrant investigation if antimicrobial utility in the therapy of bovine respiratory disease is to be preserved.

Concepts: Medicine, Infection, Cancer, Pulmonology, Antibiotic resistance, Pathogen, Pasteurella multocida, Microbiology


Over a 1-y period, a California calf-raising operation experienced 4 separate episodes of sudden death in 4-6-mo-old steers. Each episode occurred in 1-3 contiguous pens on 1 of 3 properties owned by the operation, but eventually all 3 properties were involved. In each episode, animals appeared normal at the evening feeding but at the subsequent morning feeding were found dead or dying. Remaining live calves had a stiff gait and were often dribbling urine, but did not show respiratory signs until they were down and agonal. At postmortem examination, calves consistently had moderate-to-large numbers of ecchymotic and suffusive hemorrhages on the epicardial surface and moderate-to-large amounts of fluid in the pericardial sac. Pulmonary edema and/or moderate amounts of watery fluid in the thoracic and abdominal cavities were present in a smaller percentage. On histologic examination, the myocardium had variable myofiber degeneration characterized by hypereosinophilia and fragmentation with mild interstitial infiltrates. Testing of heart and liver samples for monensin found levels lower than in previous cases of monensin toxicity. Rumen content was negative for oleandrin and grayanotoxins. Sodium monofluoroacetate (trade name: 1080) was consistently detected at ⩾10 ppb in kidney and liver, and was concluded to be the cause of the intoxication.


Two unrelated bovine beef calves, aged 2 mo and 3 mo, were presented to The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center because of scrotal swelling and abdominal distension. On postmortem examination, there was abundant peritoneal fluid and numerous small friable masses covering all peritoneal surfaces and extending into the scrotum via the tunica vaginalis, with no identifiable primary neoplasm. Based on light microscopy, differential diagnoses included malignant mesothelioma and anaplastic carcinoma. Immunohistochemically, the neoplasms labeled positive for cytokeratin, and negative for vimentin and calretinin. Neoplastic cells contained periodic acid-Schiff-positive, diastase-resistant cytoplasmic granules, and lacked Alcian blue-positive, hyaluronidase-negative cytoplasmic vacuoles. Ultrastructurally, the cells had features of carcinoma, including secretory granules, and lacked typical features of mesothelioma, such as long slender microvilli. Our final diagnosis was carcinoma in both calves, despite the equivocal gross and light microscopic findings. We propose that a presumptive diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma in bovine calves should be avoided without corroboration by a combination of histology, histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, and, if possible, electron microscopy.


We reviewed case records from the California Animal Health and Food Safety (CAHFS) laboratory and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) spanning 25 years (1990-2014) for all deer accessions submitted to CAHFS for pathology and/or histopathology, with and without a diagnosis of adenoviral hemorrhagic disease (AHD), in order to determine the prevalence of AHD in California. We also examined spatial and temporal distribution, age, and mule deer subspecies in deer that died from AHD. Of 483 deer submitted to CAHFS for diagnostic testing in 1990-2014, 17.2% were diagnosed with confirmed AHD, and 26.5% were confirmed plus suspected cases of AHD. Columbian black-tailed deer ( Odocoileus hemionus columbianus), particularly fawns and juveniles, were most frequently affected. Deer adenovirus ( Odocoileus adenovirus 1; OdAdV-1) was detected by immunohistochemistry in archived CDFW formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues from deer that died in mortality events in 1981, 1983, and 1986-1987. OdAdV-1 is a common cause of hemorrhagic disease mortality events in California deer, and mortality as a result of AHD is documented as early as 1981.


Mycoplasma bovis is an important cause of disease in cattle and bison. Because the bacterium requires specialized growth conditions, many diagnostic laboratories routinely use PCR to replace or complement conventional isolation and identification methods. A frequently used target of such assays is the uvrC gene, which has been shown to be highly conserved among isolates. We discovered that a previously described PCR putatively targeting the uvrC gene amplifies a fragment from an adjacent gene predicted to encode a lipoprotein. Comparison of the lipoprotein gene sequence from 211 isolates revealed several single nucleotide polymorphisms, 1 of which falls within a primer-binding sequence. Additionally, 3 isolates from this group were found to have a 1,658-bp transposase gene insertion within the amplified region that leads to a false-negative result. The insertion was not detected in a further 164 isolates. We found no evidence that the nucleotide substitution within the primer-binding region affects the assay sensitivity, performance, or limit of detection. Nonetheless, laboratories utilizing this method for identification of M. bovis should be aware that the region amplified may be prone to nucleotide substitutions and/or insertions relative to the sequence used for its design and that occasional false-negative results may be obtained.


Vesicular stomatitis (VS) is a vesicular disease of horses, cattle, and pigs in the Western Hemisphere caused by viruses in the genus Vesiculovirus. Disease manifests as vesicles and erosions on the oral mucosa, teats, prepuce, and coronary band, and is similar in presentation to foot-and-mouth disease. Laboratory confirmation is therefore required. Conventional assays include competitive ©ELISA and complement fixation (CF). The cELISA provides more accurate herd-level detection of VSV-exposed cattle, but may lack the ability to capture fluctuating antibody levels in individual animals. The CF assay can confirm newly infected animals because of its ability to detect antigen-antibody complexes, thus is considered to be indicative of IgM. We evaluated the immune status of 2 herds affected by VSV in 2014 by testing sera collected in June 2015. Two conventional assays were compared to a novel IgM-IgG ELISA. When sampled in 2015, both herds had detectable VSV-specific antibodies; 18% and 36% of animals tested by cELISA and 2% and 8% of animals tested by CF were positive. The novel IgM-IgG assay exhibited fair agreement (adjusted kappa score of 48) with the conventional assays, and should be evaluated further to assess its ability to replace the 2 separate assays with a single assay system, or for its ability to replace the CF assay as a more sensitive method for defining newly exposed animals.


Despite the reported association between aural plaques and the presence of Equus caballus papillomavirus (EcPV), there are few data regarding the distribution of viral types in different geographic regions or possible correlations for different papillomaviruses and lesion characteristics. We detected the presence and frequency of EcPV (1-7) DNA in aural plaque biopsies of horses from different regions of Brazil and identified the patterns of these infections or coinfections and their possible association with lesion severity. A total of 108 aural plaque biopsies from horses in the 5 geopolitical regions of Brazil were examined. We performed PCR to detect EcPV DNA in the biopsies. At least 1 type of EcPV was detected in 97% of the samples. EcPV coinfection was observed in 59% of the samples. Compared to the other viruses, EcPV-4 was found at the highest frequency in coinfection (84%) or individually identified (32%). EcPV-2 and -7 were not detected. No significant association was found between lesion characteristics (type and distribution) and either the viral type detected or the presence of coinfection. EcPV is widely distributed in Brazil, both isolated and in coinfection; the viral type does not appear to influence the clinical characteristics of equine aural plaques.