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Title: Mycoplasmas of the urogenital tract of sheep
Author: Rae, Alistair Gordon
ISNI:       0000 0001 3504 3607
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1985
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The role of mycoplasmas, especially ureaplasmas, in the urogenital tract of sheep was investigated both by survey and by pathogenicity experiments in vitro and in vivo. The survey revealed that Ureaplasma are the most frequently isolated species from the ovine urogenital tract, and demonstrated an association between the occurrence of vulvovaginitis and the presence of ureaplasmas. M.capricolum and A.axanthum, two species not previously reported in the United Kingdom, were among the other seven species isolated. Differences in virulence of the strains of ureaplasma isolated from sheep were investigated using both in vitro and in vivo systems. The in vitro systems used were cell and organ cultures as well as embryonated hens' eggs, but although none of these gave successful results, a cytopathic effect observed in ovine uterus cell cultures did suggest that these organisms are potentially pathogenic. The various in vivo systems investigated included inoculation of several animal species by a variety of routes. The production of mastitis in lactating mice after intramammary inoculation confirmed the pathogenicity seen in cell cultures but possible variations in virulence between strains were not identified by this model. However, the strains varied in their ability to induce mastitis in the lactating bovine udder, suggesting that variations in virulence do occur but are revealed only by in vivo systems. Transmission experiments in sheep were carried out and demonstrated that inoculation of these organisms per vaginam resulted in vulvitis. They showed also the importance of venereal transmission in the spread of the organisms to previously unmated ewes, some of which developed vulvitis. Ureaplasmas could be consistently recovered from all animals which developed the disease. The vulvitis did not affect conception rates or the reproductive efficiency of the ewes. Two serological tests (metabolism-inhibition and indirect immunofluorescence) demonstrated that at least three groups of ovine ureaplasmas occur in the United Kingdom. All 106 strains examined in this study could be assigned to one of the three groups, using antisera prepared in specific pathogen-free lambs ,against a representative of each group.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Veterinary sciences & veterinary medicine