Pasteurellaceae

"Pasteurella" pneumotropica is an important rodent bacterium formerly classified as Pasteurella, which probably should be classified by itself within Pasteurellaceae.3 Most conventional rodent colonies are infected, but also barrier bred colonies of rats and mice may harbor this agent, mostly latently. Carrier prevalences in infected rodent colonies vary from a few percent up to 95%.2,4 It may lead to upper respiratory disease or pyogenic infections such as subcutaneous abscesses or mastitis,1 but generally, P pneumotropica is a secondary pathogen in relation to a primary agent, such as Mycoplasma pulmonis or Sendai virus. Stress including experimental stress or immunosuppression may activate latent infections. The incidence of spontaneous deaths during inhalation anesthesia might be raised in infected animals.5 Transmission is mainly horizontal by droplets, but newborn puppies may become infected during their gestational passage of the contaminated vagina.

Pasteurella multocida is a facultative pathogen of rabbits.6 In conventional colonies, a high number of animals may be infected.7 Infection is mostly subclinical, and epizootic disease is connected with environmental and host-related factors. Respiratory disease occurs as "snuffles," which may develop into conjunctivitis, abscessation, and acute septicemias as well as acute or chronic pneumonia. It is mostly observed during spring and fall. Direct contact is considered the chief means of spread. Suckling rabbits may be infected with P. multocida from carrier does within the first week of life. The infection does not seem to spread between rabbits not in close contact.8-13 A barrier system is an efficient way of keeping rabbits free of the infection.14 Transmission from other species, e.g., pigs and cattle, may occur.15

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