Lesions associated with Bartonella taylorii -like bacterium infection in a free-ranging, young-of-the-year raccoon from Prince Edward Island, Canada

Heather Fenton, Scott McBurney, Elizabeth J Elsmo, Christopher A Cleveland, Michael J Yabsley
Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation 2021 January 19, : 1040638720988515
A young-of-the year, female raccoon was presented with clinical signs of weakness and tremors. The raccoon was euthanized, and autopsy findings included poor body condition, diffuse lymphadenopathy, and pale, firm kidneys with petechial hemorrhages throughout the renal cortex. Histologic lesions included systemic fibrinoid vascular necrosis and severe renal lesions, including lymphoplasmacytic interstitial nephritis and fibrinosuppurative glomerulonephritis. Inflammatory vascular lesions were also present within the uvea, heart, lymph nodes, and the lamina propria of the gastric wall. Ancillary testing was negative for Borrelia burgdorferi , Leptospira sp., Aleutian disease virus, canine distemper virus, feline coronavirus, porcine circovirus 2, and rabies virus. Transmission electron microscopy revealed large numbers of ~1.3 × 0.35 µm bacterial rods surrounded by a trilaminar cell wall located within the glomeruli and associated with aggregates of fibrin and vascular damage. Analysis of partial citrate synthase gene and 16S-23S ribosomal RNA intergenic spacer region sequences from kidney tissue confirmed that the organism was a Bartonella spp. that was related to numerous Bartonella spp. from shrews in Europe. This group formed a sister clade to the genetically diverse Bartonella taylorii group that has been reported from a wide range of Eurasian rodent and flea species.

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