Article Text

An association between arthritis and persistent serological reactions to Brucella abortus in cattle from apparently brucellosis-free herds
  1. CD Bracewell and
  2. MJ Corbel


Twenty-four cases of stifle (femoro-tibial joint) arthritis, in Friesian heifers that had failed their first blood test for brucellosis, were examined pathologically and by serological and cultural tests for brucella. The arthritis was confined to the stifle and was non-purulent. The cases showed several other similar features, including evidence of trauma, erosions of articular surfaces, synovial proliferations and granulomata containing germinal centres and plasma cells. The synovial fluid was turbid, discoloured and usually increased in volume, with high antibody titres to brucella. Cultures were invariably negative for brucella, but examinations of cryostat sections stained by fluorescent antibody against B abortus were positive in five out of six cases examined some showing particles with a morphology resembling that of brucella.

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