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Evaluating Post-mortem Samples for Identification of Bacterial Pathogens Associated with Ovine Pneumonia.


Sheep production plays a major role in sustaining the livelihood of rural farmers in India. Intensive management system is practiced in India to achieve high levels of economic efficiency. In addition to intensification and impact of climate change, sheep husbandry face lots of stress and lowering of body defense mechanisms, which lead to emergence and reemergence of economically important infectious diseases and novel pathogens from time to time. It is necessary to use available approaches to determine the common microbes associated with sheep production and its clinical implication so that effective preventive measures and control strategies can be evolved for maximizing returns in sheep production. A number of bacteria can cause severe mortality which may lead to heavy economic loss to sheep producers, it may also affect weight gain and meat quality results in condemnation affected lungs (Al-Rawashdeh and Al-Qudah, 2000). The causative organism of bronchopneumonia is commonly aerobic bacteria, predisposing factors including viral or Mycoplasmal infection of respiratory tract and environmental stress, can interfere with respiratory clearance mechanism and with immune responsiveness (Quinn et al., 2011). Pneumonia is a multifactorial condition caused by bacteria, viruses and fungi (Garoia et al., 1998). Pasteurella multocida, Mycoplasma spp., Escherichia coli, Actinomyces pyogenes, Streptococcus spp. and Staphylococcus spp. were frequently isolated in many infected lungs of small ruminants (Malone et al., 1988). This paper documents incidence of bacterial pathogens in pneumonic sheep during the period 2014-17.

Materials and Methods

A total of 70 post-mortem samples from sheep received at Veterinary Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (VUDDL) suspected for pneumonic conditions during the period 2014-17 were processed to further studies based on

history and post-mortem lesions. The samples which were suspected for bacterial origins were aseptically inoculated into suitable culture medium. Nutrient agar, Maconkey agar (MCA), Eosine Methylene blue agar (EMB), Blood agar, Brain and heart infusion (BHI) agar, Clostridial agar, Egg yolk agar, Manitol salt agar (MSA) and Xylose lysine decarboxylase (XLD) agar were used as primary culture media and selective culture medias for isolation of various bacterial organisms according to the methods described by Quinn et al. (1994). Culture plates were incubated aerobic as well as anaerobic conditions at 37[degrees]C for twenty four hours and colonies were subjected for cultural, morphological and biochemical test viz. gram staining, motility, capsule, IMViC, cataalse, oxidase tests as per methods described by Barrow and Felthem (1993). The growth in medium were confirmed based on cultural, morphological and biochemical characterization (Barrow and Felthem, 1993).

Results and Discussion

Out of seventy (n=70) samples examined bacterial isolation revealed incidence of Escherichia coli (Fig.1) 22.85% (n=16), followed by Klebsiella spp (Fig. 2) 18.57% (n=13), Pseudomonas spp (Fig. 3) 14.28% (n=10), Clostridium spp (Fig. 4) 11.41% (n=8), Staphylococcus spp (Fig. 5) 8.57% (n=6), Pasteurella spp (Fig. 6) 5.71% (n=4) samples. Mixed isolates of E. coli and Klebsiella spp was seen in 10% (n=7), E. coli and Staphylocouus spp in 5.71% (n=4) and E.coli, Klebsiella spp and Pseudomonas spp in 2.85% (n=2) of samples. Overall, incidence showed that E.coli and Klebsiella spp are the major bacteria occurs as an individual or in mixed infections in ovine pneumonia.

This study reports high incidence of common environmental bacterial pathogens like E.coli, Klebsiella spp, Staphylococcus spp, Pseudomonas spp and Clostridium spp in post-mortem samples of ovine pneumonia. Tijjani et al. (2012) reported similar prevalence of E. coli (88.6%) followed by K. pneumonae (52.8%) and S. aureus (17.6%) in caprine pneumonic cases. E.coli is a ubiquitous organism it can act as secondary invaders in pneumonic lungs already weakened by some stress factors such as adverse environmental conditions due to poor management practices (Maria, 2008). Klebsiella spp is a commonly distributed bacterium in environment as well as in animal body. It is frequently isolated from various clinical conditions as a primary or secondary pathogen. Klebsiella spp causes pneumonia and urogenital infections in carnivores and ungulates, mastitis in ruminants and pigs, enterocolitis in rabbits and sporadic septicaemia in a number of species (Quinn et al., 2011). It is common to detect mixed infections in respiratory tract infections since the respiratory air pathways act as a reservoir for potentially pathogenic microorganisms which develop into pneumonia following stress, decline of hygiene measures or climatic conditions (Moustafa, 2004). The mixed involvement of E. coli, Staphylococcus spp., Klebsiella spp. and Pseudomonas spp. in our study agrees with the findings of Khaled et al. (2008).

There is need for isolation and determination of antimicrobial resistance pattern of individual bacterial isolates from post mortem cases to ascertain the pathogenic role and source of each of the isolates in sheep. Since the pathological role of each bacterium in sheep production needs to elucidated, investigation in other parts of the country are essential for extensive focus.


The authors are thankful to The Dean, VCRI, Tirunelveli, TANUVAS for providing necessary facilities for the study.


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S. Parthiban (1), V. Kumar (2), K. Gopal (2) and J. Johnson Rajeswar

Department of Veterinary Microbiology Veterinary College and Research Institute Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) Tirunelveli - 627358 (Tamil Nadu)

(1.) Assistant Professor and Corresponding author.


(2.) Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Pathology
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Title Annotation:Research Article
Author:Parthiban, S.; Kumar, V.; Gopal, K.; Rajeswar, J. Johnson
Publication:Intas Polivet
Date:Jul 1, 2018
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