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Analysis of eia virus isolates from the 2006 Irish outbreak
IN 2006, cases of equine infectious anaemia (eia) occurred in Ireland; the source was believed to be contaminated plasma imported from Italy. On p 611, Dr Michelle Quinlivan and colleagues determine the nucleotide sequence of the gag gene of the eia virus identified in Ireland (eiavIre). Viral dna and rna were extracted from tissue samples from infected horses, and pcr and reverse transcriptase-pcr were used to amplify the entire gag gene, which was then sequenced. Comparison of the sequence of the eiavIre gag gene with four reference sequences from North America and Asia revealed that it had only approximately 80 per cent homology with the reference sequences. Comparison of the predicted amino acid sequences suggested that two of the protein products, p15 and p26, were more highly conserved. Quantitative assays on tissues from affected horses revealed the greatest viral nucleic acid burden to be in the spleen and liver; viral rna was also isolated from lung, plasma, and nasal, buccal and genital swabs in some cases.
Elimination of Streptococcus suis from the tonsils of sows
PIGS infected with Streptococcus suis may harbour the pathogen in their tonsils; carrier sows can transmit the infection to their piglets, which can spread it to other areas of the unit where they are housed later. On p 619, Dr Bas Swildens and colleagues use a combination of vaccination and medication to treat extracellular factor-positive S suis type 2 (S suis 2 ef+) carrier sows. A total of 16 pregnant sows from two herds were selected after repeated sampling by tonsillar brushing to confirm that they were carriers, and were either treated with a killed whole-cell S suis 2 ef+ vaccine plus twice daily amoxicillin, or left untreated. The sows and their piglets were sampled regularly by tonsillar brushing/swabbing until approximately four weeks postpartum, when they were euthanased. No S suis 2 ef+ was detected by pcr in the tonsils of the treated sows; by contrast, the control sows were positive for S suis 2 ef+ throughout the study period. None of the piglets born to the treated sows became positive, but one of the control sows' litters became infected.
Microbiological survey of house crows in Malaysia
HOUSE crows (Corvus splendens) are a nuisance in many tropical countries, but little is known about whether they carry pathogens of relevance to poultry or human health. On p 622, Dr Kannan Ganapathy and colleagues study house crows in Malaysia for evidence of such pathogens. Birds shot during a population control programme were collected; swabs were taken from the intestinal contents, cloaca, and choanal cleft and trachea for culture for Campylobacter, Salmonella and Mycoplasma species, respectively. Campylobacter species were cultured from 20 of 79 swabs; some isolates were identified as Campylobacter jejuni or Campylobacter coli. No salmonellae were isolated. Rapidly growing mycoplasmas were isolated from 34 of 109 choanal swabs and 10 of 39 tracheal swabs. These cultures were negative for Mycoplasma gallisepticum and Mycoplasma synoviae, but four of 24 swabs were positive for M gallisepticum by pcr. elisa on blood samples revealed evidence of antibodies to M gallisepticum and M synoviae in some birds.
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