Actinomyces pyogenes from a case of endometritis was used to study the effects of infection of the bovine embryo between days 27 and 41 of pregnancy. From 10(9) to 10(10) washed organisms were introduced into the uterine lumen of four pregnant cows. Two pregnant cows were inoculated with sterile saline and four pregnant cows were treated with cloprostenol. Embryonic death and abortion followed 29 to 144 hours after the inoculation of the live bacteria. The aborted embryos were macerated or clearly degenerating and yielded profuse pure cultures of A pyogenes. Abortion was accompanied by a sustained increase in uterine tone, opening of the cervix, presence of vaginal pus and a vulval discharge and the persistence of the corpus luteum for at least eight days after abortion. Intrauterine inoculation with saline did not affect pregnancy, but embryonic death, abortion and regression of the corpus luteum occurred 66 to 72 hours after the treatment with cloprostenol. The results suggest that A pyogenes is a primary pathogen and is capable of causing embryonic death and abortion.
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