Cilia-Associated Respiratory Bacillus

Prevalence
Cilia-Associated Respiratory Bacillus (CAR Bacillus) is found in both mice and rats and other related laboratory rodents. It may also affect some livestock.
 
Diagnosis
Routinely monitored through serological testing (ELISA, MFIA or IFA), with PCR and histopathology used for detection in diseased animals. Warthin-Starry silver staining is performed on the respiratory tissue revealing the presence of silver staining CAR Bacillus among cilia of the respiratory epithelium.
 
Disease
Clinical signs include weight loss, ruffled fur, chattering or snuffling. In rats, chromodacryorrhea (shedding of bloody tears) are also associated with disease. Rats show more severe clinical signs of infection. Grossly, animals have mucopurulent bronchopneumonia and microscopically, chronic bronchitis with ectasia.
 
Strains
Organism has been isolated from various strains of mice, rats and rabbits.
 
Transmission
Transmission is through direct contact. Infants may acquire infection via direct contact with infected mothers within the first week.
 
Significance
Animals destined for use in research should be free of CAR Bacillus.
 
Control
Rederivation through caesarean section or embryo transfer onto/into pathogen free dams is recommended.
 
Reading
  • The Mouse in Biomedical research, Vol. 2: Diseases Fox and Barthold. Second Edn. Elsevier, Inc. 2007.
  • Pathology of Laboratory Rodents and Rabbits, 3rd Ed., Dean H Percy & Stephen W Barthold, 2007. 
  • Infectious Diseases of Mice and Rats National Research Council 1991.