New real-time PCR test to detect Bibersteinia trehalosi

The latest quarterly report from the MAPAQ Cattle Network (1st quarter 2021) reported a case of purulent bronchopneumonia

The latest quarterly report from the MAPAQ Cattle Network (1st quarter 2021) reported a case of purulent bronchopneumonia caused by Bibersteinia trehalosi in a dairy cow and several respiratory episodes associated with this bacterium in North America over the past 10 years.

Originally identified in 1959 as a particular type of Pasteurella haemolytica, this bacterial species was renamed Bibersteinia trehalosi in 2007 in honor of Professor Ernest Biberstein of UC Davis to recognize his outstanding contributions to the study of Pasteurellaceae.

Indeed, B. trehalosi belongs to the Pasteurellaceae family, such as Pasteurella multocida, Mannheimia haemolytica, and Histophilus somni. It is closely related to M. haemolytica. B. trehalosi and M. haemolytica have the same appearance on culture media. Both species can be differentiated using the Maldi Tof method. They can also be identified by specific PCR tests.
The virulent strains of B. trehalosi produce a powerful exotoxin (leucotoxin) that is largely responsible for the fibrinous pleuropneumonia lesions. There are also strains of B. trehalosi that do not produce this toxin and are considered as non virulent. Both types of strains can be differentiated using a specific PCR for the leukotoxin gene.

B. trehalosi was first identified in sheep with fibrinous pneumonia and septicaemia. It has also caused high mortality in populations of Western wild sheep (Bighorn sheep). Finally, it has been detected in cattle. In this species, it also causes pneumonia and septicaemia. Clinical signs can evolve very quickly and mortality can reach up to 10-15%.

In 2008 in California, B. trehalosi was more often detected than P. multocida or Histophilus somni in respiratory problems. In Wisconsin, however, between 2008 and 2017, it accounted for less than 10% of respiratory bacteria isolates. Recently, a vaccine containing M. haemolytica toxoid has been shown to provide good protection against an experimental B. trehalosi infection.
At Biovet, we recently developed a specific real-time PCR (RT-PCR) for B. trehalosi. As of June 1, it will be incorporated into our “Complete Bovine Respiratory PCR Profile” (viruses and bacteria) and our ” Bovine Bacterial Respiratory PCR Profile.” There will be no extra charge for these additions. Moreover, the RT-PCR B. trehalosi alone will also be available as individual test.

For further information, feel free to contact us.


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