Histologic and bacteriologic findings in valvular endocarditis of slaughter-age pigs

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2010


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Endocarditis lesions from 117 slaughter pigs were examined pathologically and etiologically in addition to 90 control hearts with cardiac valves. Lesions were located on the valves; however, the lesions had extended to the walls in 21 cases (18%). Lesions predominated on the mitral valve (59%). A total of 28 cases, from which no growth was obtained or a contamination flora was grown, were screened by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for bacteria (general bacterial probe) and probes specific for Streptococcus suis and Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, respectively. Using FISH, an additional 10 cases of endocarditis due to S. suis and E. rhusiopathiae were disclosed. Within lesions, streptococci predominated (53%) followed by E. rhusiopathiae (30%). Distinct features of both the lesions and the shape and localization of bacterial colonies were related to streptococci and E. rhusiopathiae. The propensity for streptococci to be localized on more than 1 valve in single hearts may be because S. suis-infected pigs tend to have been infected for a longer period compared with E. rhusiopathiae. Mineralization of endocarditis lesions was significantly associated with infection by streptococci, and was seen in 71% of the cases, whereas it was present in only 28% of lesions caused by E. rhusiopathiae. In addition, areas with mineralization were significantly correlated to the presence of a granulomatous reaction. Granulomatous endocarditis is likely a result of a foreign body reaction due to dystrophic mineralization. Local proliferation of valvular endothelial cells, found in 9 hearts in the current study, may increase the risk of developing thrombosing endocarditis in pigs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)921-927
StatePublished - 2010


  • Porcine endocarditis, Streptococcus suis, Granulomatous, Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, Pigs, Mineralization
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