Epizootic rabbit enteropathy. Study of early phenomena with fresh inoculum and attempt at inactivation.
Using 180 35-day-old SPF rabbits, this study used the effectiveness of bacitracin as a tool for acquiring more information on the various phases of ERE, in particular during the hours inoculation. Five groups of animals were used, including 3 treatments with Bacivet S® (bacitracin) at different times from inoculation, with the standard inoculum TEC3. Three parameters were studied: growth, mortality and stomach noises (borborygmi). A significant fall in growth rate was observed during the first 18 hours following the inoculation in all the inoculated groups, both medicated and not medicated. Treatment with bacitracin eliminated mortality and borborygmi, but not the initial fall in growth rate. Treatment starting 18 hours after inoculation is less effective during the acute phase than the preventive treatment. With a preventive treatment interrupted as soon as 18 hours after inoculation, a delay of several days was observed before the appearance of the disease (fall in growth rate, manifestation of borborygmi) and total mortality was reduced. Very few pathogens can explain this early fall in growth rate. Bacitracin is an antibiotic which offers good control of the disease, and probably of the pathogen but not of the physio-pathological disturbances in the first few hours. The intervention of an exogenic toxin in the first hours of contamination seems likely. Borborygmi are important criteria. The intensity and/or frequency could be used as semi-quantitative criteria to characterize the disease and for the prognosis. In a simultaneous trial, a group was contaminated with the same inoculum, heated for 10 min at 55°C, in order to obtain more information on the type of pathogen involved in the etiology of ERE. This treatment did not modify the virulence of the inoculum.
rabbit; epizootic enteropathy; enterocolitis; bacitracin; physiopathogeny
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