January 2019

SIGNALMENT:  4-year old male bison

HISTORY:  Slide A: This bison had strong positive titers for Brucella abortus, and at slaughter, inspectors noted a testicle twice normal size

HISTOPATHOLOGIC DESCRIPTION:  Testis and epididymis:  Effacing 80% of the normal architecture and compressing, separating, surrounding and replacing seminiferous tubules are multifocal to coalescing areas of caseonecrotic debris admixed with degenerate neutrophils, intra and extracellular 1x2 um coccobacilli, and foci of mineral that are further surrounded by epithelioid macrophages, multinucleate giant cells, fewer lymphocytes, and reactive fibroblasts (coalescing granulomas).  These areas are further surrounded by granulation tissue and abundant collagen (fibrosis) forming thick bands which dissect between granulomas. The inflammatory infiltrate and fibrosis extends into the adjacent tunica albuginea and epididymis. There is diffuse germ cell atrophy with lack of spermatids in the remaining seminiferous tubules.

MORPHOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS:  Testis and epididymis: Granulomas, multiple, with fibrosis, germ cell atrophy and aspermia and numerous coccobacilli, Bison (Bison bison), bovine.

SIGNALMENT (JPC #1713947):  Bovine fetus

HISTORY:  Slide B:  This fetus was aborted

HISTOPATHOLOGIC DESCRIPTION:  Lung: Multifocally and randomly affecting 50% of the lung, filling alveolar spaces, and adjacent small bronchioles and expanding alveolar septa are nodular aggregates of numerous macrophages and degenerate neutrophils, few multinucleated giant cells, lymphocytes, plasma cells, abundant fibrin, edema, and hemorrhage. There is multifocal alveolar septal necrosis, with replacement by a similar population of inflammatory cells, necrotic debris and fibrin. The pleura, interlobular septa and associated lymphatics are expanded by moderate edema, fibrin and hemorrhage and small aggregates of macrophages, lymphocytes and plasma cells.

Liver: Multifocally infiltrating portal areas and randomly scattered throughout the parenchyma are moderate numbers of lymphocytes and plasma cells, with fewer neutrophils and macrophages. There is multifocal extramedullary hematopoiesis.


  1. Lung: Bronchopneumonia, pyogranulomatous and fibrinonecrotic, multifocal to coalescing, moderate, with interlobular edema, and pleuritis, breed unspecified, bovine.
  2. Liver: Hepatitis, periportal and random, lymphoplasmacytic, multifocal, mild.

SIGNALMENT (JPC #2020923):  Goat

HISTORY:  Slide C: This goat had aborted

HISTOPATHOLOGIC DESCRIPTION:  Placenta (placentome): Multifocally and extensively filling caruncular crypts and effacing chorionic villi are large areas of lytic necrosis, characterized by loss of architecture and replacement by eosinophilic cellular and karyorrhectic debris admixed with numerous degenerate neutrophils and macrophages and prominent colonies 1x2 um basophilic coccobacilli. Bacteria are also present within macrophages, cytotrophoblasts, and syncytiotrophoblasts.  Multifocally less affected villi contain necrotic multinucleated syncytiotrophoblasts (with shrunken hypereosinophilic cytoplasm and pyknotic nuclei) and/or are multifocally denuded. Diffusely, the lamina propria of the caruncle and intercotyledonary area of the placenta is edematous and expanded by mucin and low numbers of neutrophils and macrophages.  Caruncular vessel walls within are infiltrated by similar inflammatory cells, necrotic debris and fibrin (necrotizing vasculitis) and vessel lumina often contain fibrin thrombi.

MORPHOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS:  Placenta (placentome): Placentitis, necrotizing, acute, focally extensive, severe, with necrotizing vasculitis, fibrin thrombi and numerous intratrophoblastic and extracellular colonies of coccobacilli, breed unspecified, caprine.

ETIOLOGIC DIAGNOSIS:  Testicular, hepatic, pulmonary, and placental brucellosis

CAUSE:  Brucella abortus

CONDITION:  Brucellosis

SYNONYMS:  Undulant fever, Bang's disease










Ovine / Caprine:

Swine: causes of abortion, stillbirth, and/or mummification



Caprine / Ovine:














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