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Histophilus somni is a potential threat to beef cattle feedlots in Brazil
  1. S. A. Headley, DVM, MSc, PhD1,
  2. A. F. Alfieri, DVM, MSc, PhD2,
  3. V. H. S. Oliveira, DVM2,
  4. E. A. Beuttemmüller, DVM, MSc 2 and
  5. A. A. Alfieri, DVM, MSc, PhD2
  1. 1Laboratory of Veterinary Pathology, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Paraná, Brazil
  2. 2Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Paraná, Brazil
  1. E-mail for correspondence: selwyn.headley{at}

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The presence of Histophilus somni in feedlot cattle with respiratory distress is described. Nasopharyngeal swabs were collected from 8% (12/150) of steers with respiratory embarrassment; all cattle were maintained in a feedlot located in southern Brazil. Molecular diagnostic investigation targeted the presence of common infectious agents (Mannheimia haemolytica, H. somni, Mycoplasma bovis, bovine herpesvirus-1, bovine parainfluenza virus-3, bovine respiratory syncytial virus and bovine viral diarrhoea virus) associated with bovine respiratory disease (BRD). H. somni DNA was amplified from 41.7% (5/12) of the submitted swabs; one of the five positive samples also contained BoHV-1 DNA. The PCR/RT-PCR assays for other agents associated with BRD investigated were negative. These results confirm the presence of H. somni in this feedlot and serve as an alert for the dissemination of widespread histophilosis histophilosis in cattle from Brazil.

Histophilus somni (previously known as Haemophilus somnus) is a Gram-negative bacterium that causes histophilosis in ruminants which is manifested as several clinical syndromes including bronchopneumonia, thrombotic meningoencephalitis (TME), pleuritis, polysynovitis, septicaemia, myocarditis, infertility, abortion and mastitis (Divers 2008, Pérez and others 2010). Histophilosis is a major problem of cattle in North America (George 2009), with sporadic descriptions in Hungary (Janosi and others 2009), the UK (Wessels and Wessels 2005), Argentina (Descarga and others 2002), Nigeria (Odugbo and others 2009) and South Africa (Last and others 2001). Recently, we have described H. somni-induced …

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