ISSN 2398-2985      

Bordetella bronchiseptica infection

6guinea pig

Synonym(s): Bordetellosis, Epizootic respiratory disease


Introduction

  • Cause: Bordetella bronchiseptica bacteria.
  • Signs: pneumonia, although an infected guinea pig may show no clinical signs, or have varying degrees of anorexia, inappetence, nasal and ocular discharge, dyspnea and death.
  • Diagnosis: culture of bacteria from exudate of nasopharynx, trachea, bronchial lumen or middle ear. PCR swabs from the above sites as well as conjunctival pouch if ocular discharge is present. Pneumonia may be identified by radiography; middle ear opacity may be detected by radiography/CT.
  • Treatment: usually palliative for chronic infections. Antibiotics such as trimethoprim-sulfa or chloramphenicol orally, but dependent on culture/sensitivity. Supportive care with fluids, assist feeding, vitamin C supplementation, bronchodilators for pneumonia.
  • Prognosis: individual pets usually respond to treatment well. Colonies may be problematic for elimination of infection clearance and have a guarded prognosis. Vaccination using canine vaccines may prevent clinical signs, but carrier state may persist.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

Predisposing factors

General

  • Young or aged guinea pigs.
  • Pregnant, ketotic.
  • Anorectic or having another disease.
  • Any stressed guinea pig which includes: nutritional imbalances, climatic and temperature changes, drafts, season (winter), crowding, lack of ventilation, ammonia buildup and wet bedding, feed changes, vitamin C deficiency Vitamin C deficiency.

Specific

  • Those exposed to a carrier source.

Pathophysiology

  • Opportunistic pathogen.
  • Invades the respiratory mucosa.
  • May also cause mucopurulent exudate with otitis media, rhinitis, tracheitis, either independently or accompanying bronchopneumonia.

Timecourse

  • Incubation period of 5-7 days.
  • Acute or epizootic form has a sudden onset and lasts 2-3 days.

Epidemiology

  • Transmission is by direct contact with clinically affected animals, carrier hosts, contaminated fomites and respiratory aerosols.
  • Interspecies transmission is likely; for instance, some pet stores will house juvenile rabbits and guinea pigs in the same caging - rabbits commonly carry the bacteria in the nasopharynx without clinical signs.
  • Surviving animals eventually develop immunity and eliminate the infection, although subclinical infections and carrier animals are common.
  • B. bronchiseptica can be cultured from the upper respiratory tract and trachea of clinically normal animals.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Matherne C M, Steffen E K & Wagner J E (1987) Efficacy of commercial vaccines for protecting guinea pigs against Bordetella bronchiseptica pneumonia. Lab Anim Sci 37 (2), 191-194 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Hawkins M G & Bishop C R (2012) Disease Problems of Guinea Pigs. In: Ferrets, Rabbits, and Rodents Clinical Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Quesenberry K E & Carpenter J W. Elsevier. pp 295-310.
  • Harkness J E, Turner P V, VandeWoude S & Wheler C L (2010) Harkness and Wagner's Biology and Medicine of Rabbits and Rodents. 5th edn. Wiley-Blackwell.

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