Neuronal Degeneration and Meningeal Sialic Acid Complement of Zebu Cattle Experimentally Infected with Clostridium chauvoei

Useh, Nicodemus M. GND; Nok, A.J.; Ibrahim, N.D.G.; Esievo, K.A.N.

For a long time, blackleg was mistakenly assumed to be an exclusively animal disease, because of poor diagnostic tools in the past. Current report of the disease in human beings has made research on Clostridium chauvoei a hot topic. Pathology of the nervous system in blackleg has yet to be exhaustively investigated. In this study, we report for the first time, neuronal degeneration in the brain and the meningeal sialic acid complement of Zebu cattle experimentally infected with Clostridium chauvoei. Mean meningeal sialic acid complement of the infected cattle was much lower than that of controls (P<0.05), while mean plasma neuraminidase activity of the infected bull-calves that died on day 3 (72 hours) post-infection was five times higher than that of the controls, possibly suggesting that the low sialic acid complement in infected animals resulted from enhanced cleavage of sialic acid in the meninges by the neuraminidase produced in vivo by C. chauvoei. This study suggests that sialic acid cleavage from meninges may possibly assist the spread of C. chauvoei and opportunistic pyogenic bacterial organisms to the brain to cause meningitis, accompanied by pus.

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Useh, Nicodemus M. / Nok, A.J. / Ibrahim, N.D.G. / et al: Neuronal Degeneration and Meningeal Sialic Acid Complement of Zebu Cattle Experimentally Infected with Clostridium chauvoei. 2012.

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