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Gyuranecz M.,Szent Istvan University | Denes B.,Central Agriculture Office Veterinary Diagnostic Directorate | Dan A.,Central Agriculture Office Veterinary Diagnostic Directorate | Rigo K.,Szent Istvan University | And 8 more authors.
Journal of Wildlife Diseases | Year: 2010

Francisella tularensis is a highly infectious zoonotic agent causing the disease tularemia. The common hamster (Cricetus cricetus) is considered a pest in eastern Europe, and believed to be a source of human tularemia infections. We examined the role of the common hamster in the natural cycle of tularemia using serologic methods on 900 hamsters and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on 100 hamsters in an endemic agricultural area. We collected 374 Ixodes acuminatus ticks from the hamsters and tested them by real-time PCR. All tests were negative. To examine clinical signs, pathology, and histopathology of acute tularemia infection similar to the natural infection, two hamsters were infected with a large dose of a wild strain of F. tularensis ssp. holarctica. After a short period of apathy, the animals died on the eighth and ninth days postinfection. The pathologic, histopathologic, and immunohistochemical examination contributed to the diagnosis of septicemia in both cases. Our results confirmed previous findings that common hamsters are highly sensitive to F. tularensis. We conclude that although septicemic hamsters may pose substantial risk to humans during tularemia outbreaks, hamsters in interepizootic periods do not act as a main reservoir of F. tularensis. © Wildlife Disease Association 2010.

Gyuranecz M.,Szent Istvan University | Erdelyi K.,Central Agriculture Office Veterinary Diagnostic Directorate | Makrai L.,Szent Istvan University | Fodor L.,Szent Istvan University | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Comparative Pathology | Year: 2011

The European brown hare (Lepus europaeus) is an important reservoir of Brucella suis biovar 2 and also of the life-threatening zoonotic agent Francisella tularensis. Since both bacteria can produce similar gross pathological lesions in this species, laboratory tests are necessary for the final diagnosis. The aim of the present study was to develop an immunohistochemical method for the detection of B. suis infection and to describe the pathological and histological lesions caused by B. suis in European brown hares. Hyperimmune serum for immunohistochemistry (IHC) was produced by subcutaneous infection of mice with 2×109 colony forming units of live B. suis biovar 2, injected four times at 1-week intervals. The antiserum did not react with F. tularensis or Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in IHC and displayed only weak cross-reaction with B. canis. Numerous, yellow-white necrotic foci (0.1-0.5cm diameter) were found in the spleen of five B. suis-infected female European brown hares and also in the lung, uterus, kidney or liver of four of these cases. Microscopically, the foci comprised single or coalescing granulomas with a central necrotic area. Both bacterial isolation and IHC gave positive results for B. suis infection in these animals. B. suis antigens were found as granular or amorphous extracellular material in the necrotic centre of several granulomas. IHC appears to be a suitable complementary diagnostic method for the detection of B. suis infection in the European brown hare. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

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