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Post-Mortem Bluetongue Pictures

20 September 2007

© Crown copyright

UK - Images taken by the Veterinary Laboratories Agency of the pathology following post-mortem examinations of the first 3 UK cattle cases at VLA Bury St Edmunds.

Bluetongue is an insect-borne viral disease to which all species of ruminants are susceptible. The virus is transmitted by a small biting midge of the Culicoides genus rather than from animal to animal. The virus does not affect humans. Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and, where suspected, should be reported to Animal Health.

VLA is involved in the surveillance for the disease and was responsible for the detailed post mortem examinations of the first cases in the UK. The images below illustrate the pathology associated with this disease as shown by the first 3 cattle cases in East Anglia.

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Cow 1 bluetongue case – clinically affected Highland cow. Extensive superficial erosion of the muzzle with a mucopurulent nasal discharge

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Cow 1 bluetongue case – clinically affected Highland cow. Diffuse reddening of the dental pad with multifocal haemorrhages on the upper lip and dental pad



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Cow 1 bluetongue case – clinically affected Highland cow. Ocular discharge visible at the medial canthus (wrinkling of the cornea reflects post mortem change)

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Cow 1 bluetongue case – clinically affected Highland cow. 'Coronitis’: skin reddening around and above the coronary band intensifying distally with serous crusting at the coronary band



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Cow 1 bluetongue case – clinically affected Highland cow. Multifocal haemorrhages with oedema visible on the cut surface of the submandibular lymph node

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Cow 1 bluetongue case – clinically affected Highland cow. Extensive ecchymotic subepicardial haemorrhages



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Cow 1 bluetongue case – clinically affected Highland cow. Extensive subendocardial haemorrhages in the left ventricle





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Cow 2 bluetongue case – Gloucester cow. Identified as PCR positive. Multiple pinpoint haemorrhages in the skin around the bases of the teats. There were also scattered petechial haemorrhages on the skin of the ventral abdomen. No other lesions distinctive of bluetongue were seen in this cow



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Cow 3 bluetongue case – clinically affected Friesian/Holstein cow. Focally extensive necrosis at the mucocutaneous junction of the nares.




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Cow 3 bluetongue case – clinically affected Friesian/Holstein cow. Focally extensive area of haemorrhage (with associated ulceration not clearly visible in this image) on the ventral surface of the tongue. There are multifocal pinpoint haemorrhages covering most of the ventral surface of the tongue



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Cow 3 bluetongue case – clinically affected Friesian/Holstein cow. Focally extensive haemorrhage involving the bulbar conjunctiva with associated subconjunctival petechiation

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Cow 3 bluetongue case – clinically affected Friesian/Holstein cow. Generalised lymph node enlargement with oedema




© 2003 Crown Copyright.



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