Veterinary Pathology | VOL. 59

Fetoplacental pathology of equine abortion, premature birth, and neonatal loss due to Chlamydia psittaci

Publication Date Sep 5, 2022


This report describes the fetoplacental pathology of Chlamydia psittaci-associated abortion, premature birth, and neonatal loss in 46 of 442 equine abortion investigations between 2015 and 2019. Seven abortions, 26 premature births, and 13 neonatal deaths with positive C. psittaci polymerase chain reaction (PCR) were evaluated. In 83% of cases (38/46), C. psittaci infection was considered as the primary cause of loss based on quantitative PCR (qPCR) confirmation, pathological findings, and exclusion of other causes, and was supported by Chlamydia spp immunolabeling in fetoplacental lesions. Lymphohistiocytic placentitis with vasculitis (36/38) affected the amnion, umbilical cord, and chorioallantois at the umbilical vessel insertion and/or cervical pole. Lymphohistiocytic chorionitis in the subvillous stroma extended to the allantois mostly without villous destruction. Lymphohistiocytic amnionitis and funisitis occurred at the amniotic cord attachment. Lymphohistiocytic hepatitis was observed in 19/38 cases and pneumonia was identified in 26 cases. Chlamydia spp immunolabeled in placenta, lung, liver, or splenic tissue in the cases that were tested (14/38). C. psittaci infection was not the cause of loss in 2 cases with other diseases and of uncertain significance in 6 cases with no conclusive cause of loss. immunohistochemistry (IHC) was negative for 6 of these cases (6/8). The highest Chlamydia load was detected in pooled placental tissues by qPCR. qPCR and IHC had 83% congruence at a qPCR cut-off of 1 gene copy. IHC limi...


Psittaci Infection Villous Destruction Neonatal Loss Splenic Tissue Premature Birth Umbilical Cord Gene Copies Primary Cause Pathological Findings Immunohistochemistry

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No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors. The conception and design of the study, acquisition of data, analysis and interpretatio...

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