December 2014

Signalment (AFIP #1946321):  3-year-old crossbred sow

HISTORY:  An outbreak of disease occurred on a large swine breeding facility.   Symptoms common to a majority of the sick animals were anorexia, high fever, cyanosis and abortion. 

HISTOPATHOLOGIC DESCRIPTION:  Kidney:  Multifocally glomerular tuft and interstitial capillaries contain brightly eosinophilic, hyalinized fibrin thrombi.   Mild edema and fibrin accumulation are present within the tunica adventitia and perivascular tissues of arcuate and intralobular arteries as well as hypertrophy of vascular endothelium.  Multifocally, the interstitium contains a few small aggregates of lymphocytes, plasma cells, macrophages, and occasional neutrophils.  Multifocally tubular epithelial cells exhibit one or more of the following changes: flattening and attenuation; increased cytoplasmic volume and vacuolation (degeneration); shrunken cells with bright eosinophilic cytoplasm, angular margins and dense to pyknotic nuclei (necrosis); sloughing of epithelium into tubular lumina, and accumulation of few erythrocytes and small amounts of flocculant eosinophilic debris.  There are moderate multifocal autolytic changes.

MORPHOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS:  Kidney, glomerular and interstitial capillaries: Fibrin thrombi, acute, multifocal, moderate with lymphoplasmacytic and neutrophilic interstitial nephritis, perivascular edema, and mild tubular degeneration and necrosis, crossbred pig, porcine.

ETIOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS:  Renal erysipelothricosis

CAUSE:  Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae

CONDITION:  Swine erysipelas; “diamond skin disease”




Porcine erysipelas occurs in all ages but most susceptible are pregnant sows and pigs 2-12 months old; manifestations vary from acute septicemic (epidemic-associated) and mild, chronic forms (endemic-associated)

posterior thighs and jowls







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