Publications by authors named "Nicole Borel"

107 Publications

Molecular Detection and Identification of in the Eyes of Wild and Domestic Ruminant Hosts from Northern Spain.

Pathogens 2021 Mar 23;10(3). Epub 2021 Mar 23.

Department of Ecosystem & Public Health, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada.

Infections by Chlamydiae are associated with ocular disease in humans and animals. In this study, the presence and diversity of spp. was assessed in diseased and healthy eyes of domestic sheep and wild ruminants that share mountain habitats in northern Spain. The presence of spp. was tested by real-time PCR in 1786 conjunctival swabs collected from both eyes of 893 animals from mountain habitats in northern Spain, and chlamydial species were identified in the positive samples by ArrayTube microarray methods. Chlamydial DNA was detected in 0.6% (CI95% 0.2-1.3) of the Pyrenean chamois () and 1.4% (CI95% <0.01-8.1) of the sheep () sampled, with the only chlamydial species identified. No association of with ocular disease or co-infection with was found. Further studies on the pathogenesis of infectious keratoconjunctivitis are needed to better understand the ecology of and its possible role as a ruminant pathogen at the wildlife-livestock interface.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens10030383DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8005166PMC
March 2021

Clinicopathological and Genomic Characterization of a Simmental Calf with Generalized Bovine Juvenile Angiomatosis.

Animals (Basel) 2021 Feb 26;11(3). Epub 2021 Feb 26.

Institute of Animal Pathology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Bern, 3012 Bern, Switzerland.

Bovine juvenile angiomatosis (BJA) comprises a group of single or multiple proliferative vascular anomalies in the skin and viscera of affected calves. The purpose of this study was to characterize the clinicopathological phenotype of a 1.5-month-old Simmental calf with multiple cutaneous, subcutaneous, and visceral vascular hamartomas, which were compatible with a generalized form of BJA, and to identify genetic cause for this phenotype by whole-genome sequencing (WGS). The calf was referred to the clinics as a result of its failure to thrive and the presence of multiple cutaneous and subcutaneous nodules, some of which bled abundantly following spontaneous rupture. Gross pathology revealed similar lesions at the inner thoracic wall, diaphragm, mediastinum, pericardium, inner abdominal wall, and mesentery. Histologically, variably sized cavities lined by a single layer of plump cells and supported by a loose stroma with occasional acute hemorrhage were observed. Determined by immunochemistry, the plump cells lining the cavities displayed a strong cytoplasmic signal for PECAM-1, von Willebrand factor, and vimentin. WGS revealed six private protein-changing variants affecting different genes present in the calf and absent in more than 4500 control genomes. Assuming a spontaneous de novo mutation event, one of the identified variants found in the and genes may represent a possible candidate pathogenic variant for this rare form of vascular malformation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani11030624DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7996833PMC
February 2021

Captive Psittacines with Chlamydia avium Infection.

Avian Dis 2020 12;64(4):542-546

University Paris-Est, Anses, Animal Health Laboratory, Bacterial Zoonoses Unit, Maisons-Alfort, France 94706.

Avian chlamydiosis is an infection caused by obligate intracellular, gram-negative bacteria belonging to the Chlamydiaceae family. Birds can be hosts of several Chlamydia species, including Chlamydia avium, which has only been detected in pigeons and psittacine birds. In this study, depression, respiratory distress, and mortality were noted among psittacines belonging to a large aviary with 35 different avian species. On the basis of immunohistochemistry and PCR testing, chlamydiosis was diagnosed in affected birds. Gross and histopathologic lesions were mainly observed in the spleen and gastrointestinal tract. Chlamydia avium was detected in four psittacines by PCR, including two dead birds and two individuals exhibiting respiratory distress. Increased aspartate aminotransferase and lactate dehydrogenase values and anemia were consistently identified in affected birds. Administration of doxycycline, combined with hepatoprotectors and vitamins, was effective in stopping mortality and bacterial shedding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1637/aviandiseases-D20-00043DOI Listing
December 2020

International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes (ICSP) Subcommittee on the taxonomy of Chlamydiae, minutes of the closed meeting, 10 September 2020, via Zoom.

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 2021 Feb;71(2)

Institute of Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Bugnon 48, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/ijsem.0.004620DOI Listing
February 2021

Detection of in Swiss wild birds sampled at a bird rehabilitation centre.

Vet Rec Open 2020 12;7(1):e000437. Epub 2020 Nov 12.

National Reference Centre for Poultry and Rabbit Diseases, Institute for Food Safety and Hygiene, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: Annually, 800-1500 wild birds are admitted to the rehabilitation centre of the Swiss Ornithological Institute, Sempach, Lucerne, Switzerland. The workers of the centre come in close contact with the avian patients and might therefore be exposed to zoonotic agents shed by these birds, such as .

Methods: In the present study, 91 choanal, 91 cloacal and 267 faecal swabs from 339 wild birds of 42 species were investigated using a stepwise diagnostic approach.

Results: were detected in 0.9 per cent (0.3-2.6 per cent) of birds (n=3), all of them members of the Columbidae family. The species of two of these birds (one Eurasian collared dove, one fancy pigeon) were identified as types B and E by PCR and outer membrane protein A genotyping.

Conclusion: The findings of the current study suggest that zoonotic transmission of is very unlikely for songbird and waterfowl species tested herein, while pigeons might pose a risk to workers at rehabilitation centres.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/vetreco-2020-000437DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7662422PMC
November 2020

-Induced Arthritis in Experimentally and Naturally Infected Sheep.

Vet Pathol 2021 Mar 19;58(2):346-360. Epub 2020 Nov 19.

27217University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

is an obligate intracellular pathogen with a wide host range including livestock such as sheep, cattle, goats, and pigs as well as wildlife species such as koalas. Chlamydial polyarthritis is an economically important disease resulting in swollen joints, lameness, stiffness, and weight loss in young sheep. In the present study, tissues from sheep experimentally or naturally infected with were assessed by histopathology and immunohistochemistry. Carpal, hock, and stifle joints as well as spleen, liver, kidney, lymph nodes, lung, and brain of 35 sheep from different inoculation groups were available. Two different strains (IPA and E58), different routes of administration (intraarticular or intravenous), UVA-irradiated IPA strain, and corresponding noninfected control groups were investigated. Similar investigations on tissues from 5 naturally infected sheep were performed. The most obvious inflammatory lesions were observed in synovial tissues and, notably, in the renal pelvis from the experimentally infected group and naturally infected animals. This resulted in chronic or chronic-active arthritis and pyelitis. Intralesional chlamydial inclusions could be demonstrated by immunohistochemistry in both tissues. Immunohistochemical evaluation of the presence and distribution of macrophages, T and B cells in synovial tissues revealed macrophages as the most prevalent inflammatory cell population. Previous observations indicated that isolates can infect circulating monocytes. Together with the finding of the histological lesions in synovial tissues and internal organs alongside the presence of DNA, these observations suggest chlamydial arthritis in lambs is the result of hematogeneous spread of .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0300985820973461DOI Listing
March 2021

Maraviroc, celastrol and azelastine alter development in HeLa cells.

J Med Microbiol 2020 Dec 11;69(12):1351-1366. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Institute of Veterinary Pathology (IVPZ) and Center for Applied Biotechnology and Molecular Medicine (CABMM), University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

() is an obligate intracellular bacterium, causing a range of diseases in humans. Interactions between chlamydiae and antibiotics have been extensively studied in the past.: Chlamydial interactions with non-antibiotic drugs have received less attention and warrant further investigations. We hypothesized that selected cytokine inhibitors would alter growth characteristics in HeLa cells. To investigate potential interactions between selected cytokine inhibitors and development . The CCR5 receptor antagonist maraviroc (Mara; clinically used as HIV treatment), the triterpenoid celastrol (Cel; used in traditional Chinese medicine) and the histamine H1 receptor antagonist azelastine (Az; clinically used to treat allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis) were used in a genital model of serovar E infecting human adenocarcinoma cells (HeLa). Initial analyses revealed no cytotoxicity of Mara up to 20 µM, Cel up to 1 µM and Az up to 20 µM. Mara exposure (1, 5, 10 and 20 µM) elicited a reduction of chlamydial inclusion numbers, while 10 µM reduced chlamydial infectivity. Cel 1 µM, as well as 10 and 20 µM Az, reduced chlamydial inclusion size, number and infectivity. Morphological immunofluorescence and ultrastructural analysis indicated that exposure to 20 µM Az disrupted chlamydial inclusion structure. Immunofluorescence evaluation of Cel-incubated inclusions showed reduced inclusion sizes whilst Mara incubation had no effect on inclusion morphology. Recovery assays demonstrated incomplete recovery of chlamydial infectivity and formation of structures resembling typical chlamydial inclusions upon Az removal. These observations indicate that distinct mechanisms might be involved in potential interactions of the drugs evaluated herein and highlight the need for continued investigation of the interaction of commonly used drugs with and its host.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.001267DOI Listing
December 2020

Occurrence of in Raptors and Crows in Switzerland.

Pathogens 2020 Sep 2;9(9). Epub 2020 Sep 2.

Vetsuisse Faculty, Institute for Food Safety and Hygiene, National Reference Center for Poultry and Rabbit Diseases, University of Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

Bacteria of the family are globally disseminated and able to infect many bird species. So far, 11 species of have been detected in wild birds, and several studies found chlamydial strains classified as genetically intermediate between (.) and . Recently, a group of these intermediate strains was shown to form a separate species, i.e., . In the present study, 1128 samples from 341 raptors of 16 bird species and 253 corvids representing six species were examined using a stepwise diagnostic approach. DNA was detected in 23.7% of the corvids and 5.9% of the raptors. In corvids, the most frequently detected species was of outer membrane protein A () genotype 1V, which is known to have a host preference for corvids. The most frequently detected genotype in raptors was M56. Furthermore, one of the raptors harbored 1V, and two others carried genotype A. was not detected in the bird population investigated, so it remains unknown whether this species occurs in Switzerland. The infection rate of in corvids was high compared to rates reported in other wild bird species, but neither -positive corvids nor raptors showed overt signs of disease. Since the of both, raptors and crows were identified as and all genotypes are considered to be zoonotic, it can be suggested that raptors and crows pose a potential hazard to the health of their handlers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/pathogens9090724DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7558692PMC
September 2020

Chlamydia suis is associated with intestinal NF-κB activation in experimentally infected gnotobiotic piglets.

Pathog Dis 2020 08;78(6)

Department of Pathobiology, Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 268, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

Chlamydia suis intestinal infection of single-animal experimental groups of gnotobiotic newborn piglets was previously reported to cause severe, temporary small intestinal epithelium damage. We investigated archived intestinal samples for pro-inflammatory nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) activation, Interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-8 production and immune cell influx. Samples were collected 2, 4 and 7 days post-inoculation with C. suis strain S45/6 or mock inoculum (control). Increased nuclear localization of epithelial NF-κB, representative of activation, in the jejunum and ileum of C. suis-infected animals, compared to uninfected controls, began by 2 days post-infection (dpi) and persisted through 7 dpi. Infected animals showed increased production of IL-8, peaking at 2 dpi, compared to controls. Infection-mediated CD45-positive immune cell influx into the jejunal lamina propria peaked at 7 dpi, when epithelial damage was largely resolved. Activation of NF-κB appears to be a key early event in the innate response of the unprimed porcine immune system challenged with C. suis. This results in an acute phase, coinciding with the most severe clinical symptoms, diarrhea and weight loss. Immune cells recruited shortly after infection remain present in the lamina propria during the recovery phase, which is characterized by reduced chlamydial shedding and restored intestinal epithelium integrity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femspd/ftaa040DOI Listing
August 2020

Water-filtered Infrared A and visible light (wIRA/VIS) treatment reduces Chlamydia caviae-induced ocular inflammation and infectious load in a Guinea pig model of inclusion conjunctivitis.

J Photochem Photobiol B 2020 Aug 5;209:111953. Epub 2020 Jul 5.

Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Trachoma is a devastating neglected tropical disease caused by Chlamydia trachomatis and the leading global cause of infectious blindness. Although antibiotic treatment against trachoma is efficient (SAFE strategy), additional affordable therapeutic strategies are of high interest. Water-filtered infrared A and visible light (wIRA/VIS) irradiation has proven to reduce chlamydial infectivity in vitro and ex vivo. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether wIRA/VIS can reduce chlamydial infection load and/or ocular pathology in vivo, in a guinea pig model of inclusion conjunctivitis. Guinea pigs were infected with 1 × 10 inclusion-forming units/eye of Chlamydia caviae via the ocular conjunctiva on day 0. In infected animals, wIRA/VIS irradiation (2100 W/m) was applied on day 2 (single treatment) and on days 2 and 4 (double treatment) post-infection (pi). wIRA/VIS reduced the clinical pathology score on days 7 and 14 pi and the conjunctival chlamydial load on days 2, 4, 7, and 14 pi in comparison with C. caviae-infected, not irradiated, controls. Furthermore, numbers of chlamydial inclusions were decreased in wIRA/VIS treated C. caviae-infected guinea pigs on day 21 pi compared to C. caviae-infected, non-irradiated, controls. Double treatment with wIRA/VIS (days 2 and 4 pi) was more efficient than a single treatment on day 2 pi. wIRA/VIS treatment did neither induce macroscopic nor histologic changes in ocular tissues. Our results indicate that wIRA/VIS shows promising efficacy to reduce chlamydial infectivity in vivo without causing irradiation related pathologies in the follow-up period. wIRA/VIS irradiation is a promising approach to reduce trachoma transmission and pathology of ocular chlamydial infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2020.111953DOI Listing
August 2020

Prevalence and phylogeny of Chlamydiae and hemotropic mycoplasma species in captive and free-living bats.

BMC Microbiol 2020 06 26;20(1):182. Epub 2020 Jun 26.

Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Background: Bats are hosts for a variety of microorganisms, however, little is known about the presence of Chlamydiales and hemotropic mycoplasmas. This study investigated 475 captive and free-living bats from Switzerland, Germany, and Costa Rica for Chlamydiales and hemotropic mycoplasmas by PCR to determine the prevalence and phylogeny of these organisms.

Results: Screening for Chlamydiales resulted in a total prevalence of 31.4%. Positive samples originated from captive and free-living bats from all three countries. Sequencing of 15 samples allowed the detection of two phylogenetically distinct groups. These groups share sequence identities to Chlamydiaceae, and to Chlamydia-like organisms including Rhabdochlamydiaceae and unclassified Chlamydiales from environmental samples, respectively. PCR analysis for the presence of hemotropic mycoplasmas resulted in a total prevalence of 0.7%, comprising free-living bats from Germany and Costa Rica. Phylogenetic analysis revealed three sequences related to other unidentified mycoplasmas found in vampire bats and Chilean bats.

Conclusions: Bats can harbor Chlamydiales and hemotropic mycoplasmas and the newly described sequences in this study indicate that the diversity of these bacteria in bats is much larger than previously thought. Both, Chlamydiales and hemotropic mycoplasmas are not restricted to certain bat species or countries and captive and free-living bats can be colonized. In conclusion, bats represent another potential host or vector for novel, previously unidentified, Chlamydiales and hemotropic mycoplasmas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12866-020-01872-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7318495PMC
June 2020

Detection of species in 2 cases of equine abortion in Switzerland: a retrospective study from 2000 to 2018.

J Vet Diagn Invest 2020 Jul 11;32(4):542-548. Epub 2020 Jun 11.

Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland (Baumann, Marti, Borel).

Species of genus are important pathogens of animals, with a worldwide distribution and broad host range. Some species, such as , also pose a zoonotic disease risk. Abortion is one of the many diseases that has been associated with chlamydial infections in animals, with most attention focused on the economic impacts to sheep production. The role of chlamydia in equine abortions is unknown. Using the family-specific 23S ribosomal RNA (rRNA) real-time PCR, we tested 169 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded fetal membrane samples from 162 equine abortion cases collected between 2000 and 2018 in Switzerland. Two equine abortion cases (1.2%) tested positive for . Further analyses by the species-specific 23S rRNA ArrayMate microarray and sequencing of a fragment of the 16S rRNA gene revealed and . In both cases, equine herpesvirus 1 was also present, which might have been the abortion cause, alone or in synergy with . The prevalence of abortigenic chlamydial species in equine abortion cases in our study was significantly lower than rates described elsewhere. Zoonotic chlamydial agents present in equine fetal membranes nevertheless should be considered a potential risk to humans during foaling, abortion, or stillbirth.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1040638720932906DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7438654PMC
July 2020

wIRA: hyperthermia as a treatment option for intracellular bacteria, with special focus on Chlamydiae and Mycobacteria.

Int J Hyperthermia 2020 ;37(1):373-383

Molecular Immunology Unit, Department of Medical Parasitology and Infection Biology, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland.

The emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the last century is alarming and calls for alternative, nonchemical treatment strategies. Thermal medicine uses heat for the treatment of infectious diseases but its use in facultative and obligate intracellular bacteria remains poorly studied. In this review, we summarize previous research on reducing the infectious burden of and by using water-filtered infrared A-radiation (wIRA), a special form of heat radiation with high tissue penetration and low thermal load on the skin surface. is a thermosensitive bacterium causing chronic necrotizing skin disease. Therefore, previous data on wIRA-induced improvement of wound healing and reduction of wound infections is summarized first. Then, pathogenesis and treatment of infections with causing Buruli ulcer and of those with infecting the ocular conjunctiva and resulting in blinding trachoma are discussed. Both bacteria cause neglected tropical diseases and have similar geographical distributions. Results of previous and studies using wIRA on and infections are presented. Finally, technical aspects of using wIRA in patients are critically reviewed and open questions driving future research are highlighted. In conclusion, wIRA is a promising tool for reducing infectious burden due to intracellular bacteria such as and .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02656736.2020.1751312DOI Listing
October 2020

Isolation of Tetracycline-Resistant from a Pig Herd Affected by Reproductive Disorders and Conjunctivitis.

Antibiotics (Basel) 2020 Apr 17;9(4). Epub 2020 Apr 17.

Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Vetsuisse Faculty University Zurich, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

Due to various challenges in diagnosing chlamydiosis in pigs, antibiotic treatment is usually performed before any molecular or antibiotic susceptibility testing. This could increase the occurrence of tetracycline-resistant isolates in the affected pig population and potentiate the reoccurrence of clinical signs. Here, we present a case of an Austrian pig farm, where tetracycline resistant and sensitive isolates were isolated from four finishers with conjunctivitis. On herd-level, 10% of the finishers suffered from severe conjunctivitis and sows showed a high percentage of irregular return to estrus. Subsequent treatment of whole-herd using oxytetracycline led to a significant reduction of clinical signs. Retrospective antibiotic susceptibility testing revealed tetracycline resistance and decreased susceptibility to doxycycline in half of the ocular isolates, and all isolates were able to partially recover following a single-dose tetracycline treatment in vitro. These findings were later confirmed in vivo, when all former clinical signs recurred three months later. This case report raises awareness of tetracycline resistance in and emphasizes the importance of preventative selection of tetracycline resistant isolates.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9040187DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7235844PMC
April 2020

PREVALENCE OF AND TETRACYCLINE RESISTANCE GENES IN WILD BOARS OF CENTRAL EUROPE.

J Wildl Dis 2020 07 27;56(3):512-522. Epub 2020 Mar 27.

Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 268, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

Our aim was to investigate the occurrence and distribution of and other in the wild boar () population of Switzerland and Northern Italy and the detection of tetracycline resistance genes by PCR. We collected a total of 471 conjunctival swabs (=292), rectal swabs (=147), and lung tissue samples (=32) belonging to 292 wild boars. The prevalence of in the investigated wild boar populations was very low (1.4%, 4/292). We found in rectal or conjunctival swabs but not in lung samples. The low chlamydial prevalence might be attributed to limited contacts between wild boars and outdoor domestic pigs due to strict biosecurity measures or limited numbers of rural pig herds. The A(C) gene fragment was detected in six samples, which were all negative for , and was probably not of chlamydial origin but more likely from other bacteria. The low tetracycline resistance rate in wild boar might be explained by the lack of selective pressure. However, transmission of resistance genes from domestic pigs to wild boar or selective pressure in the environment could lead to the development and spread of tetracycline-resistant strains in wild boars.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7589/2019-11-275DOI Listing
July 2020

Chlamydiaceae in wild, feral and domestic pigeons in Switzerland and insight into population dynamics by Chlamydia psittaci multilocus sequence typing.

PLoS One 2019 30;14(12):e0226088. Epub 2019 Dec 30.

National Reference Centre for Poultry and Rabbit Diseases (NRGK), Institute for Food Safety and Hygiene, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Feral pigeons, common wood pigeons and Eurasian collared doves are the most common representatives of the Columbidae family in Switzerland and are mostly present in highly populated, urban areas. Pigeons may carry various members of the obligate intracellular Chlamydiaceae family, particularly Chlamydia (C.) psittaci, a known zoonotic agent, and C. avium. The objective of the study was to identify the infection rates of common free-roaming pigeons for different Chlamydia species with the overall aim to assess the risk pigeons pose to public health. In this study, 431 pigeons (323 feral pigeons, 34 domestic pigeons, 39 Eurasian collared doves, 35 common wood pigeons) from several geographic locations in Switzerland were investigated for the presence of Chlamydiaceae. Samples consisted of pooled choanal-cloacal swabs (n = 174), liver samples (n = 52), and paired swab and liver samples from 205 pigeons (n = 410). All 636 samples were screened using a Chlamydiaceae family-specific 23S rRNA real-time PCR (qPCR). Subsequent species identification was performed by DNA-microarray assay, sequencing of a 16S rRNA gene fragment and a C. psittaci specific qPCR. In total, 73 of the 431 pigeons tested positive for Chlamydiaceae, of which 68 were positive for C. psittaci, four were C. avium-positive and one pigeon was co-infected with C. avium and C. psittaci. The highest infection rates were detected in feral (64/323) and domestic pigeons (5/34). Common wood pigeons (2/35) and Eurasian collared doves (2/39) revealed lower infection rates. Additionally, multilocus sequence typing of twelve selected C. psittaci-positive samples revealed closely related sequence types (ST) between and within different Swiss cities. Furthermore, liver and corresponding swab samples from the same bird were colonized by the same ST. Considering the high infection rates of C. psittaci in domestic and feral pigeons, close or frequent contact to these birds poses a human health risk.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0226088PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6936790PMC
March 2020

Survey on Chlamydiaceae in cloacal swabs from Swiss turkeys demonstrates absence of Chlamydia psittaci and low occurrence of Chlamydia gallinacean.

PLoS One 2019 10;14(12):e0226091. Epub 2019 Dec 10.

National Reference Centre for Poultry and Rabbit Diseases (NRGK), Institute for Food Safety and Hygiene, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

In Switzerland, domestic turkey meat is a niche product. Turkeys are fattened on mixed family-based farms scattered across the country, with most providing access to an uncovered outdoor pasture for the birds. Swiss fattening turkeys may therefore get infected with Chlamydiaceae via wild birds or their faeces, potentially shedding these bacteria at a later stage. The aim of the present study was to acquire baseline data about the shedding of Chlamydiaceae in clinically unremarkable Swiss fattening turkeys at slaughter, potentially exposing slaughterhouse workers to infection. In this large-scale study, 1008 cloacal swabs of Swiss turkeys out of 53 flocks from 28 different grow-out farms with uncovered outdoor pasture were collected over the course of 14 months and examined for the occurrence of Chlamydiaceae by a family-specific 23S-rRNA real-time PCR. Positive samples were further analyzed by Chlamydia psittaci (C. psittaci)-specific real-time PCR and the Arraymate DNA Microarray for species identification. All samples were negative for C. psittaci, but seven swabs out of one flock were tested positive for Chlamydia gallinacea (0.7%). Although turkeys with access to pasture may have contact with Chlamydiaceae-harbouring wild birds or their faeces, the infection rate in Swiss turkeys was shown to be low.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0226091PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6903705PMC
March 2020

First case of a natural infection in a domestic cat (Felis catus) with the canid heart worm Angiostrongylus vasorum.

Vet Parasitol Reg Stud Reports 2019 12 17;18:100342. Epub 2019 Oct 17.

Institute of Parasitology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 266a, 8057 Zürich, Switzerland. Electronic address:

Cardiopulmonary nematodes in cats include different parasite species affecting feline lungs and the heart, with the metastrongyloid Aelurostrongylus abstrusus being the most frequent feline lungworm worldwide. The present case report describes an 11-month-old male neutered European short hair cat which presented with generalised subcutaneous oedema and pleural and peritoneal effusions. According to clinical examination, abdominal imaging and laboratory analyses, a tentative diagnosis of severe glomerulopathy with massive proteinuria was made. Due to worsening of the clinical signs despite therapeutic interventions and a poor prognosis, the cat was euthanised. Necropsy and histological examinations revealed severe bilateral collagenofibrotic glomerulopathy, generalised oedema and a focal verminous pneumonia with thrombosis in arterial lung vessels containing nematode cross sections. A serum sample was tested for the presence of antibodies against the cat lungworm A. abstrusus, resulting negative. Genetic analyses confirmed the presence of nematode DNA; after exclusion of common lung and heart parasites occurring in cats, DNA of the canid heart worm nematode Angiostrongylus vasorum was identified. This is the first description of a naturally occurring infection with A. vasorum in a cat. Previous experimental studies demonstrated the development of adult male and female A. vasorum worms containing eggs in cats, but no larval excretion in the faeces. Although cats did not become patent, A. vasorum infections were clinically relevant. As A. abstrusus and A. vasorum are both gastropod transmitted nematodes, they may share the same intermediate hosts within overlapping areas. In addition, especially chronic A. abstrusus infected cats become non-patent and do not excrete L1. Considering that patent A. vasorum infections are widespread in the dog and fox population in Switzerland (and several other countries) but are apparently not patent in cats, we cannot exclude that infections with A. vasorum may occur more frequently than expected.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vprsr.2019.100342DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7104072PMC
December 2019

International Committee on Systematics of Prokaryotes (ICSP) Subcommittee on the taxonomy of Chlamydiae. Minutes of the closed meeting, 20 March 2019, Seattle, WA, USA.

Int J Syst Evol Microbiol 2019 11;69(11):3654-3656

Institute of Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Bugnon 48, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/ijsem.0.003738DOI Listing
November 2019

Detection of Tetracycline Resistance Genes in European Hedgehogs () and Crested Porcupines ().

J Wildl Dis 2020 01 17;56(1):219-223. Epub 2019 Sep 17.

Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences, University of Bologna, Ozzano dell'Emilia, 40064 Bologna, Italy.

Relatively little is known regarding the role of wildlife in the development of antibiotic resistance. Our aim was to assess the presence of the tetracycline resistance genes, (A), (B), (C), (D), (E), (G), (K), (L), (M), (O), (P), (Q), (S), and (X), in tissue samples of 14 hedgehogs () and 15 crested porcupines () using PCR assays. One or more genes were found in all but three hedgehogs and one crested porcupine. Of the 14 tetracycline resistance genes investigated, 13 were found in at least one sample; (G) was not detected. We confirmed the potential role of wild animals as bioindicators, reservoirs, or vectors of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the environment.
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January 2020

The influence of centrifugation and incubation temperatures on various veterinary and human chlamydial species.

Vet Microbiol 2019 Jun 12;233:11-20. Epub 2019 Apr 12.

Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Switzerland. Electronic address:

The Chlamydiaceae are Gram-negative bacteria causing diseases in humans and in both, endothermic (mammals and birds) and poikilothermic (e.g. reptiles, amphibians) animals. As most chlamydial species described today were isolated from humans and endothermic animals, the commonly used culturing temperature in vitro is 37 °C, although the centrifugation temperature during experimental infection, a technique necessary to improve the infection rate, may vary from 25 to 37 °C. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of different centrifugation (28° or 33 °C) and incubation temperatures (28 °C or 37 °C) on the average inclusion size, infectivity and ultrastructural morphology of human and animal chlamydial strains, as well as two recently described species originating from snakes, C. poikilothermis and C. serpentis, in LLC-MK2 cells at 48 h post infection. Infectivity and average inclusion size was reduced at an incubation temperature of 28 °C compared to 37 °C for all strains including C. poikilothermis, although the latter formed larger, fully matured inclusions at 28 °C in comparison to the other investigated Chlamydia species. C.psittaci displayed a shorter developmental cycle than the other species confirming previous studies. Higher centrifugation temperature increased the subsequent inclusion size of C. trachomatis, C. abortus and C. suis but not their infectivity, while the incubation temperature had no discernable effect on the morphology, inclusion size and infectivity of the other chlamydial strains. In conclusion, we found that all Chlamydia species are viable and can grow at low incubation temperatures, although all strains grew better and more rapidly at 37 °C compared to 28 °C.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2019.04.012DOI Listing
June 2019

Perspective: Water-Filtered Infrared-A-Radiation (wIRA) - Novel Treatment Options for Chlamydial Infections?

Front Microbiol 2019 10;10:1053. Epub 2019 May 10.

Institute of Veterinary Pathology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Water-filtered infrared-A-radiation (wIRA) is a promising therapeutic method, which is particularly used as supportive treatment for wound closure, and wound infection treatment and prevention. High penetration properties of the heat field and beneficial effects on wound healing processes predispose wIRA irradiation to be a non-invasive treatment method for bacterial infections in superficial tissues. Since still represents the leading cause of infectious blindness in third world countries (WHO http://www.who.int/topics/trachoma/en/) and wIRA displays beneficial effects on chlamydial infections without inducing cellular damage in eye models and also shows beneficial effects on wound healing, this irradiation technique might represent a promising future treatment for trachoma patients. To this end, further studies investigating shorter irradiation times or irradiation of in chronic infections [the chlamydial stress response (Bavoil, 2014)] as well as safety studies in animal models should clearly be performed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.01053DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6522854PMC
May 2019

In vitro analysis of genetically distinct Chlamydia pecorum isolates reveals key growth differences in mammalian epithelial and immune cells.

Vet Microbiol 2019 May 31;232:22-29. Epub 2019 Mar 31.

Animal Research Centre, Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Australia.

Chlamydia (C.) pecorum is an obligate intracellular bacterium that infects and causes disease in a broad range of animal hosts. Molecular studies have revealed that this pathogen is genetically diverse with certain isolates linked to different disease outcomes. Limited in vitro or in vivo data exist to support these observations, further hampering efforts to improve our understanding of C. pecorum pathogenesis. In this study, we evaluated whether genetically distinct C. pecorum isolates (IPA, E58, 1710S, W73, JP-1-751) display different in vitro growth phenotypes in different mammalian epithelial and immune cells. In McCoy cells, shorter lag phases were observed for W73 and JP-1-751 isolates. Significantly smaller inclusions were observed for the naturally plasmid-free E58 isolate. C. pecorum isolates of bovine (E58) and ovine origin (IPA, W73, JP-1-751) grew faster in bovine cells compared to a porcine isolate (1710S). C. pecorum isolates could infect but appear not able to complete their developmental cycle in bovine peripheral neutrophil granulocytes. All isolates, except 1710S, could multiply in bovine monocyte-derived macrophages. These results reveal potentially important phenotypic differences that will help to understand the pathogenesis of C. pecorum in vivo and to identify C. pecorum virulence factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetmic.2019.03.024DOI Listing
May 2019

The limitations of commercial serological assays for detection of chlamydial infections in Australian livestock.

J Med Microbiol 2019 Apr 6;68(4):627-632. Epub 2019 Mar 6.

Animal Research Centre, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, QLD, Australia.

Chlamydia pecorum and Chlamydia abortus are related ruminant pathogens endemic to different global regions. Potential co-infections combined with the lack of species-specific serological assays challenge accurate diagnosis. Serological screening revealed low C. abortus seropositivity with the peptide-based ELISA (1/84; 1.2%) in Australian sheep yet moderate seropositivity in a Swiss flock with history of C. abortus-associated abortions (17/63; 26.9%). By whole cell antigen complement fixation tests (CFT) and ELISA, chlamydial seropositivity was significantly higher in all groups, suggesting cross-reactivity between these two chlamydial species and non-specificity of the tests. However, only C. pecorum DNA could be detected by qPCR in Chlamydia seropositive Australian animals screened, suggesting chlamydial seropositivity was due to cross-reactivity with endemic C. pecorum infections. These results suggest ascribing Chlamydia seropositivity to chlamydial species in livestock using whole-cell antigen CFT or ELISA should be treated with caution; and that peptide-based ELISA and qPCR provide greater chlamydial species-specificity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jmm.0.000951DOI Listing
April 2019

Water Filtered Infrared A and Visible Light (wIRA/VIS) Irradiation Reduces Infectivity Independent of Targeted Cytokine Inhibition.

Front Microbiol 2018 15;9:2757. Epub 2018 Nov 15.

Institute of Veterinary Pathology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

is the major cause of infectious blindness and represents the most common bacterial sexually transmitted infection worldwide. Considering the potential side effects of antibiotic therapy and increasing threat of antibiotic resistance, alternative therapeutic strategies are needed. Previous studies showed that water filtered infrared A alone (wIRA) or in combination with visible light (wIRA/VIS) reduced infectivity. Furthermore, wIRA/VIS irradiation led to secretion of pro-inflammatory cytokines similar to that observed upon infection. We confirmed the results of previous studies, namely that cytokine secretion (IL-6, IL-8, and RANTES/CCL5) upon wIRA/VIS treatment, and the subsequent reduction of chlamydial infectivity, are independent of the addition of cycloheximide, a host protein synthesis inhibitor. Reproducible cytokine release upon irradiation indicated that cytokines might be involved in the anti-chlamydial mechanism of wIRA/VIS. This hypothesis was tested by inhibiting IL-6, IL-8, and RANTES secretion in or mock-infected cells by gene silencing or pharmaceutical inhibition. Celastrol, a substance derived from , used in traditional Chinese medicine and known for anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effects, was used for IL-6 and IL-8 inhibition, while Maraviroc, a competitive CCR5 antagonist and anti-HIV drug, served as a RANTES/CCL5 inhibitor. HeLa cell cytotoxicity and impact on chlamydial morphology, size and inclusion number was evaluated upon increasing inhibitor concentration, and concentrations of 0.1 and 1 μM Celastrol and 10 and 20 μM Maraviroc were subsequently selected for irradiation experiments. Celastrol at any concentration reduced chlamydial infectivity, an effect only observed for 20 μM Maraviroc. Triple dose irradiation (24, 36, 40 hpi) significantly reduced chlamydial infectivity regardless of IL-6, IL-8, or RANTES/CCL5 gene silencing, Celastrol or Maraviroc treatment. Neither gene silencing nor pharmaceutical cytokine inhibition provoked the chlamydial stress response. The anti-chlamydial effect of wIRA/VIS is independent of cytokine inhibition under all conditions evaluated. Thus, factors other than host cell cytokines must be involved in the working mechanism of wIRA/VIS. This study gives a first insight into the working mechanism of wIRA/VIS in relation to an integral component of the host immune system and supports the potential of wIRA/VIS as a promising new tool for treatment in trachoma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2018.02757DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6262300PMC
November 2018

Chlamydiae in human intestinal biopsy samples.

Pathog Dis 2018 11 1;76(8). Epub 2018 Nov 1.

Cantonal Hospital Winterthur, Brauerstrasse 15, CH-8400 Winterthur, Switzerland.

Chlamydia trachomatis is frequently detected in anorectal specimens from men and women. A recent hypothesis suggests that C. trachomatis is a natural commensal organism asymptomatically colonizing the gastrointestinal tract. In this study, we investigated the presence of chlamydial DNA and antigen in intestinal biopsy samples taken during colonoscopy. Cases (n = 32) were patients whose histopathology reports included the term 'chlamydia', suggesting a possible history of infection. Control patients (n = 234) did not have chlamydia mentioned in their histopathology report and all tested negative for Chlamydiaceae DNA by 23S ribosomal RNA-based real-time PCR. Amongst the cases, C. trachomatis DNA was detected in the appendix and colon of two female and one male patients. Chlamydia abortus DNA was present in the colon of a fourth female patient. Thus, chlamydial DNA could be demonstrated in intestinal biopsy samples proximal to the anorectal site and inclusions were identified in rectum or appendix of two of these patients by immunohistochemistry. However, the findings in two cases were compatible with sexually acquired C. trachomatis. The identification of C. trachomatis DNA/antigen does not prove the presence of active infection with replicating bacteria. Larger prospective studies on fresh tissue samples are required to confirm the data obtained in this study.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/femspd/fty081DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6276272PMC
November 2018

Fibrinolytic Capacity of Desmoteplase Compared to Tissue Plasminogen Activator in Rabbit Eyes.

J Ocul Pharmacol Ther 2019 Jan/Feb;35(1):66-75. Epub 2018 Oct 30.

1 Veterinary Ophthalmology, Equine Clinic, Vetsuisse Faculty Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Purpose: Desmoteplase (DSPA) was evaluated and compared with tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) for its intraocular fibrinolytic effect and short-term toxicity in an in vivo study using rabbit eyes.

Methods: Fibrin clots were induced in the anterior chamber of 44 rabbit eyes, and drug efficacy was measured by clot size reduction over 24 h. Topical DSPA eye drops (1.4 and 2 mg/mL) were compared with vehicle solution in a multiple-drop regimen in 8 animals per group. Intracameral injections of 0.6 μg DSPA (n = 14) and 25 μg t-PA (n = 14) were evaluated for their fibrinolytic efficacy. Animals were euthanized 24 h after drug application.

Results: No significant differences were seen between topically treated DSPA and vehicle-treated animals. Intracameral t-PA had a higher fibrinolytic efficacy than DSPA at early time points, but no significant difference was seen between both groups at 24-h postapplication. Animals with t-PA treatment demonstrated significantly more side effects compared with DSPA-treated animals. DSPA showed no-to-mild side effects after topical and intracameral treatment. Histologically, no toxic effects were observed in any globe.

Conclusions: DSPA is a promising drug with fewer side effects and similar fibrinolytic efficacy compared with t-PA 24 h after intracameral application in rabbit eyes at the tested concentration. Drug efficacy might be improved by increasing intracameral DSPA doses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/jop.2018.0070DOI Listing
July 2020

Bovine Fetal Placenta During Pregnancy and the Postpartum Period.

Vet Pathol 2019 Mar 24;56(2):248-258. Epub 2018 Oct 24.

1 Institute of Veterinary Pathology, University of Zurich, Vetsuisse Faculty, Zurich, Switzerland.

Bovine abortion is a worldwide problem, but despite extensive histopathologic and molecular investigations, the cause of abortion remains unclear in about 70% of cases. Cellular debris is a commonly observed histopathologic finding in the fetal placenta and is often interpreted as necrosis. In this study, the nature of this cellular debris was characterized, and histologic changes in the normal fetal placenta during pregnancy and after delivery were assessed. In addition, the presence of the most common abortifacient pathogens in Switzerland ( Chlamydiaceae, Coxiella burnetii, Neospora caninum) was tested by polymerase chain reaction. We collected 51 placentomes and 235 cotyledons from 41 and from 50 cows, respectively. In total, cellular debris was present in 48 of 51 (94%) placentomes and in 225 of 235 (96%) cotyledons, inflammation occurred in 1 of 51 (2%) placentomes and in 46 of 235 (20%) cotyledons, vasculitis was seen in 1 of 51 (2%) placentomes and 46 of 235 (20%) cotyledons, and 18 of 51 (35%) placentomes and 181 of 235 (77%) cotyledons had mineralization. The amount of cellular debris correlated with areas of positive signals for cleaved caspase 3 and lamin A. Therefore, this finding was interpreted as an apoptotic process. In total, 10 of 50 cotyledons (20%) were positive for C. burnetii DNA, most likely representing subclinical infections. The results of our study indicate that histologic features in the fetal placenta such as cellular debris, inflammation, vasculitis, and mineralization must be considered physiological processes during pregnancy and after delivery. Therefore, their presence in placentae of aborted fetuses must be interpreted with caution and might not be necessarily linked to an infectious cause of abortion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0300985818806453DOI Listing
March 2019

Cell type-specific endometrial transcriptome changes during initial recognition of pregnancy in the mare.

Reprod Fertil Dev 2019 Mar;31(3):496-508

Clinic of Reproductive Medicine, Department for Farm Animals, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 260, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.

Previous endometrial gene expression studies during the time of conceptus migration did not provide final conclusions on the mechanisms of maternal recognition of pregnancy (MRP) in the mare. This called for a cell type-specific endometrial gene expression analysis in response to embryo signals to improve the understanding of gene expression regulation in the context of MRP. Laser capture microdissection was used to collect luminal epithelium (LE), glandular epithelium and stroma from endometrial biopsies from Day 12 of pregnancy and Day 12 of the oestrous cycle. RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) showed greater expression differences between cell types than between pregnant and cyclic states; differences between the pregnant and cyclic states were mainly found in LE. Comparison with a previous RNA-Seq dataset for whole biopsy samples revealed the specific origin of gene expression differences. Furthermore, genes specifically differentially expressed (DE) in one cell type were found that were not detectable as DE in biopsies. Overall, this study revealed spatial information about endometrial gene expression during the phase of initial MRP. The conceptus induced changes in the expression of genes involved in blood vessel development, specific spatial regulation of the immune system, growth factors, regulation of prostaglandin synthesis, transport prostaglandin receptors, specifically prostaglandin F receptor (PTGFR) in the context of prevention of luteolysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/RD18144DOI Listing
March 2019