Ultrastructural study of ovine pulmonary pasteurellosis: involvement of neutrophils and macrophages

  • Luis Gómez
  • A. Gázquez
  • E. Redondo
  • S. Martínez
Keywords: neutrophils, macrophages, pasteurellosis, lung


Pasteurellosis is a common infectious disease characterised by fibrinous pneumonia and involving neutrophils and macrophages. This study aimed to determine the timing and extent of the pathogenic involvement of these cell elements in lesions induced in experimentally-infected lambs.

A concentration of approximately 3x10~ba cterialml. was inoculated into 30 two-month-old disease-free Merino lambs. Five lambs were assigned to each of five experimental batches, slaughtered on days 1, 3,7, 11 and 15 following intratracheal inoculation, and to one control batch inoculated with a sterile solution. One control animal was slaughtered at the same time as each experimental batch.

More characteristic lesions occur in bronchioles, peribronchial tissue and alveoli and are characterised by fibrinous processes. From the start of the experiment, epithelial-cell disruption and loss of microvilli were apparent; cell debris, desquamate cells and bacterial elements were observed in bronchiolar lumina, embedded in a fibrillar granular material. Alveolar structures displayed fewer neutrophils and macrophages, containing phagocytic vacuoles. Laminar bodies were apparent in type 11 pneumocytes. The interseptal area contained similar cell types, as well as abundant edema. In the course of the experiment, macrophage numbers increased in al1 the areas involved, with signs of intense phagocytic activity. The final phase of the experiment was characterised by a mild interseptal infiltrate and by clear alveolar lumina.