Diseases / List of Bacterial Diseases / Disease description:

Bordetella bronchiseptica Infection in Hedgehogs, Bears and Lagomorphs

INFORMATION AVAILABLE

GENERAL INFORMATION

CLINICAL CHARACTERISTICS & PATHOLOGY

INVESTIGATION & DIAGNOSIS

TREATMENT & CONTROL

SUSCEPTIBILITY & TRANSMISSION

ENVIRONMENT & GEOGRAPHY

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General and References

Disease Summary

Bordetella bronchiseptica infection commonly causes respiratory tract infections [in a variety of species]; also seen causing septicaemia. (B47)

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Alternative Names (Synonyms)

  • Atrophic rhinitis (in domestic pigs). (B47)
  • "Kennel cough" or canine trachobronchitis in dogs

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Disease Type

 Bacterial Infection

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Infectious/Non-Infectious Agent associated with the Disease

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • Pathogenicity may vary between strains. Some strains show resistance to several antibiotics (B614.8.w8)
  • Overcrowding, poor ventilation and transportation are all factors which may increase the likelihood of this disease developing. (J417.24.w2)

Infective "Taxa"

Non-infective agents

--

Physical agents

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References

Disease Author

Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5); Nikki Fox BVSc MRCVS (V.w103)
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Major References / Reviews

Code and Title List

General:
B47

In hedgehogs:
J15
.21.w1, B16.13.w13, B271.29.w29, B228.9.w9, B259.w7, B284.6.w6

In bears:
J2
.37.w2

In lagomorphs:
B602.17.w17, B614.8.w8
J16.29.w1, J60.6.w1, J417.24.w2

Referees

Brigitte Reusch BVet Med (Hons) CertZooMed MRCVS (V.w127)

Other References

Code and Title List

P23.1999S.w8

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Clinical Characteristics and Pathology

Detailed Clinical and Pathological Characteristics

General  Respiratory infections, including atrophic rhinitis in pigs, "kennel cough" in dogs and bronchopneumonia secondary to distemper in dogs. (B47)

Clinical Characteristics

  • Respiratory signs, bronchopneumonia.
  • Septicaemia in laboratory rodents.
    (B47)
In dogs:
  • Kennel cough: severe harsh, moist cough caused by mucus accumulation.
  • May lead to retching and vomiting.
  • In dogs with distemper may get fatal bronchopenumonia.
    (B47)
In pigs: 
  • Carrier state.
  • Upper respiratory tract signs: 
    • Sneezing, coughing.
    • Later atrophic rhinitis - deformity of the nose (bony structures affected)
      (B47)
HEDGEHOGS
BEARS
  • In a five-year-old male Ursus maritimus - Polar bear. (J2.37.w2)
    • Depression, partial anorexia, with developing dysphagia and cough. (J2.37.w2)
    • When the bear was anaesthetised for examination, on extubation the inside of the endotracheal tube was found to be coated with thick mucopurulent exudate. (J2.37.w2)
    • Uneventful recovery following treatment with oral antibiotics (see below); cough ceased after two days of treatment, the bear's appetite was normal by one week of treatment. (J2.37.w2)
  • In a female Ursus maritimus - Polar bear. (J2.37.w2)
    • Lethargy and coughing. (J2.37.w2)
    • Uneventful recovery in one week following treatment with oral antibiotics (see below). (J2.37.w2)

Clinical pathology:

  • In a five-year-old male Ursus maritimus - Polar bear. (J2.37.w2)
    • A smear of mucopurulent exudate from the trachea revealed (Gram stain) inflammation; there was a moderate neutrophil response, few monocytes and only rare lymphocytes and erythrocytes. Pleomorphic gram-negative coccobacilli were seen, most being within neutrophils. (J2.37.w2)
    • Cultures (aerobic and fungal) yielded Bordatella bronchiseptica in pure culture. (J2.37.w2)
LAGOMORPHS
Natural infection
  • Sometimes this bacterium causes rhinitis in rabbits (as indicated by pure culture of Bordatella bronchiseptica). (B602.17.w17, J16.29.w1) Clinical signs include: (J417.24.w2)
    • Nasal exudate (serous to mucopurulent);
    • Coughing, sneezing;
    • Ocular discharge;
    • Anorexia.

    (J417.24.w2)

Experimental infection
  • Experimental intranasal challenge with this organism has been reported to result in acute serous rhinitis and also bronchopneumonia in some animals, particularly suckling rabbits. (B602.17.w17, B614.8.w8)
  • This pathogen has also been reported to induce pneumonia under experimental conditions; however, under natural conditions it is not thought to be a primary cause of pneumonia but may act as a copathogen with Pasteurella multocida (see: Pasteurellosis in Lagomorphs). (B614.8.w8)

Incubation

--
HEDGEHOGS --
BEARS Clinical signs in the female Ursus maritimus - Polar bear (housed adjacent to the male, and with nose-to-nose contact possible) developed one week after the male bear became ill. (J2.37.w2)
LAGOMORPHS --

Mortality / Morbidity

  • High morbidity in e.g. pigs and in dogs in kennels.
  • May be fatal as e.g. a bronchopneumonia in dogs following distemper
    (B47)
HEDGEHOGS
  • Common as a respiratory infection secondary to Crenosoma striatum lungworm infection in the UK. (B284.6.w6, B259.w7)
  • Common when hedgehogs are kept confined together. (B259.w7)
  • Mortality may be seen with Bordetella bronchiseptica together with Crenosoma striatum infection. (B24)
  • Euthanasia may be warranted in severely dyspnoeic individuals. (B284.6.w6)
BEARS
  • One instance of infection in two Ursus maritimus - Polar bear in the same facility has been reported. Recovery was uneventful following antibiotic treatment. (J2.37.w2)
LAGOMORPHS
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica is reported to have a high prevalence but a limited pathogenicity in rabbits. (B614.8.w8)

Pathology

  • Bronchopneumonia
  • In pigs with atrophic rhinitis the bacteria causes lesions to the turbinate bones.
    (B47)
HEDGEHOGS
  • Tracheitis, catarrhal rhinitis, bronchopneumonia. (B271.29.w29, B228.9.w9, B284.6.w6)
BEARS --
LAGOMORPHS
  • Experimental intranasal challenge with this organism has been reported to result in bronchopneumonia and pleuritis in suckling and weanling rabbits. (B602.17.w17, B614.8.w8)

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Human Health Considerations

  • Potential zoonosis. Few reported cases of Bordatella bronchiseptica in humans, causing bronchopneumonia and a recurrent non-productive cough. Infections have only occurred "under atypical conditions". (P23.1999S.w8)
  • Infection (including zoonotic infection) might be more common in individuals with HIV infection. (J270.28.w1)

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Susceptibility / Transmission

General information on Susceptibility / Transmission

  • Transmission by aerosol (as shown in dogs with kennel cough). Shed by puppies for two to three months. (B47)
  • Mainly an infection of young animals, particularly in association with clinical or subclinical respiratory disease. (B47)
  • Transmission typically is by aerosol or direct contact. (J2.37.w2)
HEDGEHOGS
BEARS
  • Presumed transmission from one Ursus maritimus - Polar bear to another occurred in a collection where clinical signs developed in a female bear one week after the onset of signs in the male bear; the bears had potential nose-to-nose contact in some areas of their enclosures. (J2.37.w2)
LAGOMORPHS
  • "Colonization of weanling rabbits is common, and the number of infected animals increases as the animals mature". (B614.8.w8)
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica is primarily an opportunistic pathogen. Rabbits that are naturally affected with Bordetella bronchiseptica usually do not succumb to respiratory disease unless they have a concurrent Pasteurella multocida infection (or other respiratory pathogens). (B614.8.w8)
  • In one study, colonised rabbits were shown to have abnormal immune responses compared to non-colonised animals: alveolar macrophages were reported to have decreased adherence, phagocytic uptake, and also reduced bactericidal activity. (B614.8.w8)
  • In rabbitries, rates of infection with Bordatella bronchiseptica are higher in weanlings than in adults (unlike Pasteurealla multocida infection, which has a higher incidence in adults than in weanlings). (B602.17.w17)

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Disease has been reported in either the wild or in captivity in:

Hedgehogs:
  • Crenosoma striatum causing respiratory disease and death in a captive colony of Erinaceus europaeus and Aethechinus algerus; some also had Bordatella bronchiseptica infection. (J77.87.w1)
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica infection causing respiratory disease was seen commonly in autumn in laboratory-maintained hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus), spreading rapidly in confined conditions and described as "virulent". (J42.50.w1)
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica has been isolated from the respiratory tract of British hedgehogs Erinaceus europaeus; it often causes bronchopneumonia in captive individuals. (J18.38.w1)
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica associated with Crenosoma sp. lungworm in a hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus with pneumonia. (J3.128.w2)
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica may be isolated from the respiratory tracts of hedgehogs with clinical signs of respiratory disease but also from clinically healthy individuals. (B284.6.w6)
  • Hedgehogs with lungworm infection and/or kept together in the UK. (B259.w7)

Bears:

Lagomorphs:

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica is commonly isolated from the upper respiratory tract of laboratory rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus domesticus - Domestic European rabbit). (B614.8.w8)
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica is not-uncommonly isolated from rabbits with rhinitis, and has been isolated from a colony of Pasterurella multocida - free rabbits with upper respiratory tract infection. (B602.17.w17)

Further information on Host species has only been incorporated for species groups for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken). Host species with further information available are listed below:

Host Species List

(List does not contain all other species groups affected by this infectious agent)

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Disease has been specifically reported in Free-ranging populations of:

  • Crenosoma sp. lungworm with associated Bordetella bronchiseptica in a hedgehog with pneumonia. (J3.128.w2)

Further information on Host species has only been incorporated for species groups for which a full Wildpro "Health and Management" module has been completed (i.e. for which a comprehensive literature review has been undertaken). Host species with further information available are listed below:

Host Species List

Erinaceidae - Hedgehogs, moonrats (Family) species affected:

(List does not contain all other species groups affected by this infectious agent)

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Environment/Geography

General Information on Environmental Factors/Events and Seasonality

  • Reported to be associated with the weather getting colder. (J42.50.w1)

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded

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Regions / Countries where the Infectious Agent or Disease has been recorded in Free-ranging populations

In Erinaceus europaeus - West European Hedgehog in Europe. (J3.128.w2)

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General Investigation / Diagnosis

General Information on Investigation / Diagnosis

  • Detection by culture e.g. from nasal swab. (B47)
HEDGEHOGS --
BEARS
  • In a five-year-old male Ursus maritimus - Polar bear. (J2.37.w2)
    • Initial diagnosis of tracheitis on the basis of clinical signs and findings of clinical examination, including a thick pucopulrulent exudate in the trachea (found coating the inside of the endotracheal tube at the time of extubation). (J2.37.w2)
    • A gram stained smear of mucopurulent exubate from the trachea revealed inflammation; there was a moderate neutrophil response, few monocytes and only rare lymphocytes and erythrocytes. Pleomorphic gram-negative coccobacilli were seen, most being within neutrophils. (J2.37.w2)
    • Cultures (aerobic and fungal) yielded Bordatella bronchiseptica in pure culture. (J2.37.w2)
      • Sensitivity testing revealed that the isolate was sensitive to most common antibiotics, including amoxycillin/clavulanic acid and "amikacin, ceftazidime, cephalothrin, chloramphenicol, enrofloxacin, piperacillin, tetracycline, and trimethoprim/sulfa." (J2.37.w2)
LAGOMORPHS
  • In rabbits with rhinitis, a deep nasal swab should be taken and sent for bacteriological culture and sensitivity testing. Insertion of the swab will generally require sedation or anaesthesia. (B600,13.w13, J417.24.w2)
    • Swab both nares. (B601.7.w7, B602.17.w17, J60.6.w1)
    • Insert at least 1 cm into each nares, further if possible (1 - 4 cm). (B601.7.w7, B602.17.w17)
    • A small swab is required, such as a no. 4 calcium alginate swab. (B601.7.w7, B602.17.w17)
  • Radiography of the thorax; this may reveal consolidated lung areas. (J417.24.w2)
Related Techniques
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Similar Diseases (Differential Diagnosis)

In pigs: May be combined infection with Pasteurella multocida. (B47)
HEDGEHOGS
BEARS
  • Other causes of lethargy and cough. (J2.37.w2)
  • In a five-year-old male Ursus maritimus - Polar bear, fungal infection was ruled out based on the absence of fungal elements in the mucopurulent exudate from the trachea, lack of growth on fungal culture, and negative serology on a fungal serology panel (coccidiomycosis, blastomycosis, histoplasmosis, aspergillosis). (J2.37.w2)
LAGOMORPHS
  • Pasteurellosis in Lagomorphs
  • Note: both bacteria may be present and infection with Bordatella bronchiseptica may increase susceptibility to Pasteurella multocida. (B602.17.w17, J60.6.w1, J417.24.w2)

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Treatment and Control

Specific Medical Treatment

  • Sensitive to: carbenicillin, chloramphenicol, tetracycline, sulfamethazine, erythromycin, aminoglycosides, polymixin B.(B47)
  • Natural resistance to penicillin. (B47)
  • In dogs: aerosols (kanamycin, gentamycin or polymixin B) are more effective than parenteral antibiotics. (B47)
  • In pigs: sulphamethazine 100g / ton feed. (N.B. check for resistance).(B47)
HEDGEHOGS Antibiotic therapy:

Additional symptomatic treatment: mucolytics such as Bromhexine hydrochloride (Bisolvon (Boehringer Ingelheim)), bronchodilators, NSAIDs [see: Carprofen, Flunixin meglumine, Ketoprofen]. (J15.21.w1, B284.6.w6, B228.11.w11)

BEARS
  • A 14-day course of oral antibiotics (Amoxycillin/Clavulanic acid 22 mg/kg twice daily was effective in the treatment of two Ursus maritimus - Polar bear with Bordatella bronchiseptica tracheitis. Sensitivity testing confirmed that the isolated organism was sensitive to this antibiotic. (J2.37.w2)
LAGOMORPHS
  • Antibiotic therapy according to culture and sensitivity. (B602.17.w17, J417.24.w2)
    • Enrofloxacin, 5 - 10 mg/kg every 12 hours for 5 - 7 days. (J417.24.w2)
      • 5- 20 mg/kg once or twice daily, orally, subcutaneously or intramuscularly. (B609.AppIII.w5)
    • Oxytetracycline 0.1 mg/mL in drinking water for seven days. (J417.24.w2)
      • Use with care - can cause antibiotic-associated enteritis. (V.w127)
  • Note: antibiotic treatment does not eliminate the carrier state. (J417.24.w2)
Related Techniques
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General Nursing and Surgical Techniques

--
HEDGEHOGS
  • Oxygen therapy and nebulization may be useful for hedgehogs with severe respiratory congestion, e.g. using a mucolytic such as acetylcystein plus an antibiotic such as gentamicin. N.B. ensure personnel do not come into contact with suspended droplets. J15.21.w1, B284.6.w6)
BEARS --
LAGOMORPHS
  • Give Lactobacillus during and for about five days after antibiotic treatment to reduce disturbance to gastrointestinal flora. (J417.24.w2)
Related Techniques
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Preventative Measures

Vaccination
  • Live attenuated intranasal vaccine (dogs, pigs). (B47)
HEDGEHOGS --
BEARS
  • While parenteral and intranasal vaccines are available for dogs, there is unknown safety of the vaccines in non-domestic species, including bears. In the clinical cases reported, virulence appeared low and the infection was easily treated with antibiotic therapy. (J2.37.w2)
LAGOMORPHS
  • Live attenuated vaccines may be used in large rabbitries. (J417.24.w2)
Prophylactic Treatment

--

HEDGEHOGS --
BEARS --
LAGOMORPHS --
Related Techniques
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Environmental and Population Control Measures

General Environment Changes, Cleaning and Disinfection --

HEDGEHOGS

--
BEARS --
LAGOMORPHS
  • Ensure a good environment/husbandry, including good general hygiene, minimising stress and sudden changes in ambient temperature and feeding, to minimise susceptibility to this, and other, pathogens. (B602.17.w17, J60.6.w1, J417.24.w2)
Population Control Measures --
HEDGEHOGS --
BEARS --
LAGOMORPHS
  • Culling of affected individuals may be required as part of a control programme during an outbreak. (J417.24.w2)
Isolation, Quarantine and Screening --
HEDGEHOGS
  • Maintaining hedgehogs individually, avoiding close contact, has been used as a measure to avoid spread of infection in laboratory-maintained hedgehogs. (B271)
BEARS --
LAGOMORPHS
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica is reported to have a high prevalence but a limited pathogenicity in rabbits so control of this pathogen is usually not attempted. However, if elimination of Bordetella  from a rabbitry is required then embryo transfer or caesarian derivation may be used. These animals must subsequently be housed under barrier conditions. (B614.8.w8)
  • A new rabbit entering a multi-rabbit home should be quarantined and mixed with the other rabbits only after it is known to be healthy. (B602.17.w17)
  • During an outbreak, affected individuals should be isolated. (J417.24.w2)
Related Techniques
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