Epizootic bovine abortion in a dairy herd: Characterization of a Chlamydia psittaci isolate and antibody response

P. C. Griffiths*, J. M. Plater, T. C. Martin, S. L. Hughes, K. J. Hughes, R. G. Hewinson, M. Dawson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


A chlamydial agent was recovered from the placental cotyledons of an aborting cow from a 100-cow dairy herd in Cumbria. Immunoblotting analysis of purified elementary bodies of the isolate revealed a reactivity pattern typical of serotype I Chlamydia psittaci strains. Nucleotide sequencing of the major outer membrane protein (MOMP) gene further confirmed the isolate, BA1, as a serotype I strain. The sequence was identical to that of the type strain of ovine enzootic abortion, B577. In both the antigenic and MOMP sequencing analyses BA1 was distinguishable from serotype II C. pecorum strains. A sequential series of sera obtained from the aborting cow, from which BA1 was recovered, was analysed by immunoblotting against the homologous isolate, and demonstrated reactivity to major chlamydial antigens over a 110-day period. Close contact between ruminant species on the farm suggested that the C. psittaci strain may have been transmitted to cattle from infected sheep.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)683-693
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Veterinary Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01 Dec 1995


  • antibody response
  • antigen profile
  • bovine abortion
  • Chlamydia psittaci
  • ompA gene sequence
  • Antigens, Bacterial/genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Cattle Diseases/epidemiology
  • Antibodies, Bacterial
  • Genes, Bacterial/genetics
  • United Kingdom/epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Animals
  • Chlamydophila psittaci/chemistry
  • Psittacosis/epidemiology
  • Cattle
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Base Sequence
  • Female
  • Sheep
  • Sheep Diseases/epidemiology
  • Abortion, Veterinary/epidemiology


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