Although rarely an initiator of respiratory disease in dogs, in association with viruses such as canine respiratory coronavirus (CRCoV) and canine parainfluenza virus (CPIV), it plays an important role in the development of canine kennel cough.
Species which are pathogenic to dogs include:
- Bordetella bronchiseptica (bronchitis)
- Bordetella avium (septicemia, endocarditis)
Transmission occurs by direct contact, or via respiratory aerosol droplets, or fomites. Bacteria initially adhere to ciliated epithelial cells in the nasopharynx, and this interaction with epithelial cells is mediated by a series of protein adhesins.
Although these organisms normally reside within respiratory epithelial tissue, systemic bacteremias have lead to dissemination, with one dog reported with B. bronchispetica discospondylitis and another with B. avium endocarditis.
Clinically affected dogs are often young (<6 months of age), with a history of being kenneled, or exposure to other unvaccinated dogs and present with upper respiratory signs such as rhinitis, tracheitis or bronchitis. In infections with other bacteria such as Streptococcus equi sub zooepidemicus or Pseudomonas spp, or with viral involvement, especially distemper virus, colonization of the lung tissue is common and a febrile pneumonia and death can occur.
Diagnosis of infection can be confirmed by nasal swabs for bacterial culture and sera for agglutination tests were taken from all the dogs every week for four weeks. The bacteria can be identified by growth on specific agar and by specific PCR.
Prevention is by administration of live attenuated vaccine given as a subcutaneous injection or via intranasal administration.
A single dose of monovalent attenuated B. bronchiseptica vaccine provides immunoprotection for up to 1 year. Intranasally immunized puppies exhibited a trend to higher Bordetella bronchiseptica-specific IgM immune response, have significantly less clinical signs and shed fewer organisms compared with subcutaneously vaccinated dogs.
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