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Microorganism Descriptions

Virus Descriptions

Avian influenza A H9N2/Turkey/Wisconsin virus
Avian influenza is caused by Type A influenza virus. The symptoms can vary from a mild disease with little or no mortality to a highly fatal, rapidly spreading epidemic (highly pathogenic avian influenza) depending on the infecting virus strain, host factors, and environmental stressors. Signs including coughing, sneezing, ruffled feathers, swollen heads, nervous signs like depression, and diarrhea may occur together or singly. In some cases, birds die rapidly without clinical signs of disease.

Canine distemper
A highly infectious, febrile disease of dogs and other carnivores. Infected dogs develop a rise of temperature, anorexia, catarrh, conjunctivitis, and depression. Some dogs demonstrate primary respiratory signs while others intestinal signs. The mortality rate ranges between 30-80%, but surviving dogs often have permanent central nervous system sequelae.

Feline Picornavirus
Feline calicivirus is the synonym. Produces a respiratory disease, conjunctivitis and vesiculation of the mouth of cats.

Herpes Simplex Type 1
Causes skin lesions above the waist, encephalitis, stomatitis, eye infections and fever blisters.

Herpes Simplex Type 2
Causes lesions on penis, urethra, vulva, vagina and skin of buttocks.

HIV-1 (AIDS virus)
Causes severe damage to the human body's immune system defenses against disease often leading to death. For example the AIDS virus infects white blood cells and T-helper cells that play key roles in the body's immune system.

Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR)
Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis is caused by Bovine Herpes Virus 1, which is also responsible for the disease syndrome known as infectious pustular vulvovaginitis and balanoposthitis (IPV-IPB). It appears that the latter (IPV) was the primary form of the disease until the animals were concentrated into high population units such as beef feedlots and large dairy herds. The virus is associated with

  • Upper respiratory tract infections (IBR) and bovine respiratory disease,
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Reproductive disorders including IPV, abortion and neonatal death.

Influenza Virus, Type A
Virus that causes the flu. An acute respiratory disease that occurs in epidemic form. Transmitted from person to person via aerosol route (coughing and sneezing).

Newcastle disease virus
Newcastle Disease Virus is by far one of the most important pathogens of all birds. The symptoms of Newcastle Disease include respiratory distress, diarrhea, cessation of egg, continued economic loss from reduced rate of gain, poor feed conversion, increased mortality and carcass condemnation at processing.

Norwalk virus
Norwalk virus was first identified in 1972 after an outbreak of gastrointestinal illness in an elementary school in Norwalk, Ohio, in 1968. Later, other viruses with similar features were described and called Norwalk-like viruses. These have since been classified as members of the Calicivirus family.

People contract Norwalk virus (NV) by swallowing food or water that has been contaminated with the stool from an infected person. Outbreaks are often linked to eating raw shellfish, especially oysters and clams. Shellfish become contaminated via stool from sick food handlers or from raw sewage dumped overboard by recreational and/or commercial boaters.

The signs and symptoms of Norwalk virus include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach cramps. Severe illness or hospitalization is uncommon. Infected persons usually recover in two or three days without any health side effects. No specific treatment is available. Persons who are severely dehydrated may need rehydration therapy.

Porcine respiratory and reproductive virus (PRRSv)
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome affects pigs of all ages, causes severe economic loss in many swine herds, and continues to be a major problem for pork producers. Clinical signs may include anorexia, fever, and lethargy in sows or gilts for one to seven days. Reproductive failure is characterized by late-term abortions, increased numbers of stillborn fetuses, and/or premature weak pigs.

Porcine rotavirus
Porcine rotaviruses are important causative agents of diarrhea in swine herds worldwide. The virus infects neonates between the first and the second week of age, affecting the productivity of the herd, which is reflected in the economic losses associated with growth retardation, the cost involved in veterinary treatment and in some cases, the death of the animal.

Pseudorabies virus
A herpes virus that is extremely contagious from animal to animal. It is contagious to several species of animals, including cattle, horses, dogs, cats, sheep and goats. It produces rapid death (usually in 24 - 72 hours), most commonly from convulsions and seizures, in most all species except swine, which are the normal target species of the virus. Once a swine is infected with the virus, it will remain infected for the life of the animal, although it may not show clinical signs.

Transmissible gastroenteritis (TGE)
Transmissible Gastroenteritis (TGEV) is a highly contagious swine disease that produces diarrhea, anorexia, vomiting and agalactia. High mortality, decreasing mortality with age. Occurs most commonly in the winter.

Vaccinia virus
The Vaccinia virus was used as an immunizing agent against human smallpox during the global eradication program that sought to vaccinate the population. Causes red hemorrhagic lesions (pocks) on cattle; usually confined to the udder and teats.

 

Bacteria Descriptions

Bordetella bronchiseptica
A small, motile, aerobic Gram-negative bacillus bacterium that causes tracheobronchitis (kennel cough) in animals. Cats, and in particular kittens, are most prone to B. bronchiseptica. Mortality is 100% in very young kittens and close to 50% in older kittens.

Campylobacter jejuni
Common cause of diarrheal illness mostly carried by birds and transferred in under cooked meat.

Corynebacterium ammoniagenes
Formally called Brevibacterium ammoniagenes, cause of diaper rash, converts urine to ammonia.

Enterobacter aerogenes and cloacae
Can cause bacteremia, urinary tract infection, post-surgial wound infection and other nosocomial infections. Occurs in water, sewage, soil, dairy products, feces of man and animals. Most strains are resistant to ampicillin.

Enterococcus faecalis (Vancomycin resistant)
E. faecium is a member of the normal gut flora of most warm-blooded animals, including humans. It can cause a wide range of infections, often most seriously in hospital patients (ICU). Many enterococci are resistant to a number of antibiotics - in fact some could only be treated with vancomycin.
Vancomycin-resistant enterococci now represent more than 15% of nosocomial infections.

Escherichia coli
A nosocomial infection that causes urinary tract infections, terminal septicemia, "travelers diarrhea" and infant diarrhea.

Escherichia coli 0157:H7
Generic Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria are an essential, but normally harmless, component of the digestive tract of healthy animals and humans. E. coli 0157:H7, or pathogenic E. coli, is typically found in raw or undercooked ground beef. It has also been linked to infections involving vegetables, unpasteurized apple cider, raw milk, salami, alfalfa sprouts and drinking water. Upon inspection, E. coli 0157:H7 can cause hemorrhagic colitis, which is characterized by initial abdominal pain and cramping, usually followed by bloody diarrhea. Those most susceptible to severe illness include the elderly, the young and those with compromised immune systems.

Klebsiella pneumoniae
Causes infection of the urinary and respiratory tracts. Causative agent of pneumoniae.

Listeria monocytogenes
There are seven species of Listeria, with Listeria monocytogenes being the species of public health concern. Listeria monocytogenes has been detected in various areas of the environment, including the soil, ditches, surface water of canals, lakes and sewage. Growth of Listeria monocytogenes in the environment in food-processing plants is often found in areas where high humidity and nutrients are present (factors that are favorable to growth) such as floor drains, floors, food-processing equipment and in and around coolers.

Many food products have been associated with Listeria monocytogenes contamination, including raw milk and cheeses; fresh vegetables such as cucumbers, potatoes and radishes; ready-to-eat meat products such as beef, ham and sausage; and raw and ready-to-eat seafood and fish products. Animal carcasses are also very often associated with Listeria monocytogenes contamination. Listeria also has the ability to survive and grow in refrigerated conditions.

Infection with Listeria (called listeriosis) is characterized by a variety of severe symptoms and often leads to meningitis and meninigoencephalitis. In pregnant women in their third trimester, the consequences for the fetus include spontaneous abortion, fetal death and meningitis, while the mother may be asymptomatic or exhibit flu-like symptoms.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Has ability to survive and multiply in fluids, water and moist environments found in hospitals. Hospital acquired infections usually occur to patients having prior instrumentation or manipulative procedures such as urethral catheterization, tracheotomies and intravenous infusions of medications and fluids. The most important human sources are infected wounds, urine and lesions producing exudates. Causes infant diarrhea, ocular infections, burn infections, cystic fibrosis, folliculitis, osteomy elitis and malignant external otitis.

Salmonella entirica
Causes gastroenteritis, septicemia, bacteremia and arthritis. Salmonellae are the most common cause of bacterial diarrhea in the Untied States.

Salmonella typhi
Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by this bacterium. Salmonella typhi lives only in humans. Persons with typhoid fever carry the bacteria in their bloodstream and intestinal tract.

Serratia marcescens
Serratia are opportunistic Gram-negative bacteria that are found in soil, water, on plants and in animals. It has been implicated in many nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections involving the urinary tract infections, wound infections, meningitis and pneumonia.

Shigella dysenteriae
Symptoms include diarrhea which may be mild or severe, along with fever and nausea. The diarrhea may be watery or bloody. Vomiting and abdominal cramping may also occur.

In general, S. dysenteriae, S. flexneri, and S. boydii account for most isolates in developing countries. Conversely, S. sonnei is most common and S. dysenteriae is least common in developed countries.

Shigella sonnei
Causes bacillary dysentery characterized by severe cramping abdominal pain and diarrhea with blood and mucous.

Staphylococcus aureus
Causes skin infections such as cellulites, boils, carbuncles, impetigo and postoperative wound infections. Can cause food poisoning. Both community and hospital infections such as bacteremia, endocarditis, meningitis, pneumonia and osteomyelitis.

Staphylococcus aureus (Methicillin resistant)
Staph is found in the nose of 20-40% of normal healthy people and also on the skin without causing problems. If it gets in through broken skin can cause boils, wound and other infections. Staph can multiply on food-releasing toxins that cause vomiting and diarrhea. Shows resistance to the antibiotic Methicillin.

Staphylococcus epidermidis
Causes bacteremia, infective endocarditis, peritonitis associated with dialysis and predominantly genitourinary tract infections.

Streptococcus pyogenes
S. pyogenes is a Gram-negative, non-motile, non-spore forming bacteria that is one of the most frequent pathogens in humans (harbored in the respiratory tract of 5 – 15% of population). It is the leading cause of “strep throat”, which if untreated can cause rheumatic fever – affecting the heart and kidneys in potentially life threatening ways. Also know as the “flesh eating bacteria”