Synergistic role of gaseous ammonia in etiology of Pasteurella multocida-induced atrophic rhinitis in swine
Journal of Clinical Microbiology
One-week-old Large White piglets were weaned and allocated to 14 experimental groups, each composed of five animals. Each group was housed in a separate Rochester exposure chamber and exposed continuously to gaseous ammonia at either 0, 5, 10, 15, 25, 35, or 50 ppm (two groups per exposure level). One week after ammonia exposure commenced, the pigs from one group at each exposure level were inoculated intranasally with 9 ؋ 10 7 CFU of Pasteurella multocida type D. After a further 4 weeks of
... ther 4 weeks of exposure, all the pigs were euthanized and the extent of turbinate degeneration was assessed by using a morphometric index (J. T. Done, D. H. Upcott, D. C. Frewin, and C. N. Hebert, Vet. Rec. 114:33-35, 1984) and a subjective scoring system (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Atrophic Rhinitis: a System of Snout Grading, 1978). Exposure to ammonia at a concentration of 5 ppm or greater resulted in a significant increase in the severity of turbinate atrophy induced by P. multocida compared with that occurring in pigs kept in 0 ppm of ammonia. This effect was maximal at 10 ppm but decreased progressively at concentrations above 25 ppm. Regression analysis revealed a significant relationship between the severity of turbinate degeneration and the number of P. multocida organisms isolated from the nasal epithelium at the end of the experiment (R 2 ؍ 0.86). These findings suggest that exposure to ammonia facilitates the growth and/or survival of P. multocida within the upper respiratory tract of the pig, thereby contributing to the severity of the clinical disease atrophic rhinitis. Furthermore, exposure of pigs to ammonia at 10 ppm or greater, in the absence of either P. multocida or Bordetella bronchiseptica, induced a mild but statistically significant degree of turbinate atrophy. The findings of this study demonstrate that exposure to ammonia, at concentrations within the range encountered commonly in commercial piggeries, contributes to the severity of clinical lesions associated with atrophic rhinitis.