Induction of arthritis with Mycoplasma hyosynoviae in pigs: Clinical response and re-isolation of the organism from body fluids and organs

T. Hagedorn-Olsen, N.C. Nielsen, N.F. Friis

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    Abstract

    The objective of this investigation was to study the pathogenesis of experimental Mycoplasma hyosynoviae arthritis in pigs. The experimental inoculations were designed to provide information about systemic spread, the persistence of subclinical infection, and the length of time for which the mycoplasma is cultivable from synovial fluids and other tissues. In this article we report on the clinical response to infection and the results obtained from re-isolation attempts. In three inoculation experiments with M. hyosynoviae, clinical arthritis was produced by intravenous and by intranasal exposure as well as by pen-contact in 12 out of 23 exposed pigs. The infection was transmitted from persistent carrier pigs to non-infected pigs by pen-contact. The incubation period until development of clinical arthritis was 4-9 days for all routes of exposure, and the symptoms were of variable severity. In half of the cases the onset was acute and the lameness severe, Epically involving the hindlegs and with affected pigs assuming a dog-sitting position. A systemic phase was found in the majority (86 %) of the pigs. However, the infection was in two cases established in the tonsils without detection of a systemic phase. An apparent persistent infection of the tonsils became established in all the pigs. M. hyosynoviae spreads via the blood to different organs from which it could be re-isolated during the acute phase of the infection. In general, M. hyosynoviae was recovered from joints from day 3 until day 21 post-exposure, but longer persistence of viable mycoplasmas in joints or regional lymph nodes in the chronic phases of the infection appeared to have taken place in a few pigs.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Veterinary Medicine Series A-physiology Pathology Clinical Medicine
    Volume46
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)317-325
    ISSN0931-184X
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1999

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