The apparent lack of association between infection and clinical disease has resulted in debate as to the pathogenic significance of these organisms, and their tendency to sub-clinical and/or persistent infection presents a challenge to the study of their potential effects. However, recent evidence indicates that chlamydial infections have a substantial and quantifiable impact on livestock productivity with chronic, recurrent infections associated with pulmonary disease in calves and with infertility and sub-clinical mastitis in dairy cows.
Chlamydial infection in cattle have also been associated with reproductive disorders including abortion, endometritis, repeat breeding, vaginitis, seminal vesiculitis, weak calves and perinatal mortality. Moreover, symptoms such as pneumonia, conjunctivitis, enteritis, polyarthritis and encephalitis have been reported.
Species of Chlamydophila which have been recorded in cattle include:
- Chlamydophila pecorum - Sporadic bovine encephalomyelitis
- Chlamydophila abortus
- Chlamydophila psittaci - abortion
- Chlamydia suis
Accurate determination of the presence of Chlamydophila spp can be detected using ELISA and PCR testing.
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