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Identification of Parachlamydiaceae DNA in nasal and rectal passages of healthy dairy cattle

Wheelhouse, Nick; Hearn, Jack; Livingstone, Morag; Flockhart, Allen; Dagleish, Mark; Longbottom, David


Jack Hearn

Morag Livingstone

Mark Dagleish

David Longbottom


The order Chlamydiales comprises a broad range of bacterial pathogens and endosymbionts, which infect a wide variety of host species. Within this order, members of the family Parachlamydiaceae, which includes Parachlamydia and Neochlamydia species, have been particularly associated with infections in both humans and cattle, including having a potential pathogenic role in cases of bovine abortion. While the route of transmission has yet to be defined, it has been hypothesised that asymptomatic carriage and contamination of the immediate environment may be a route of inter-animal transmission. We investigated the asymptomatic carriage of Chlamydia-related organisms in healthy cattle.

Methods & Results
DNA was isolated from nasal and rectal swabs obtained from 38 healthy dairy heifers. A Chlamydiales sp. 16S rRNA qPCR was performed on each sample. A total of 18/38 nasal samples and all 38/38 rectal samples were identified as positive for Chlamydiales sp. Each positive sample was sequenced confirming the presence of DNA belonging to the Parachlamydiaceae.

The presence of Parachlamydiaceae DNA in nasal and rectal swab samples of healthy cattle provides evidence for the asymptomatic carriage of parachlamydial organisms within cattle.

Significance & Impact of the Study
The study provides evidence of potential routes of environmental contamination that could provide a route for inter-animal and animal transmission of Parachlamydiaceae.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 19, 2021
Online Publication Date Dec 28, 2021
Publication Date 2022-04
Deposit Date Jan 5, 2022
Journal Journal of Applied Microbiology
Print ISSN 1364-5072
Electronic ISSN 1365-2672
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 132
Issue 4
Pages 2642-2648
Keywords chlamydiales, infection, molecular detection, Parachlamydiaceae, PCR, shedding cattle, veterinary
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