Hemorrhagic septicemia

Hemorrhagic septicemia . It is a bacterial disease with high mortality that affects cattle , water buffalo . Clinical symptoms rapidly evolve from lethargy and fever to death within hours.


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  • 1 Synonymies
  • 2 Etiology
  • 3 Distribution
  • 4 Species affected
  • 5 Transmission
  • 6 Symptoms
  • 7 Morbidity and Mortality
  • 8 Diagnosis
    • 1 Clinician
    • 2 Laboratory Analysis
  • 9 Treatment
  • 10 Prevention and control
  • 11 Sources


Acute pasteurellosis , shipping fever .


Caused by the B: 2 serotype of the Pasteurella multocida bacteria . A gram-negative coco bacillus from the Pasteurellaceae family . Pasteurella. Multocida can cause a variety of diseases in animals, but only 2 serotypes of this organism are typically the cause of hemorrhagic septicemia.

Because there are 2 serotypes, there are 2 types of system for its name: the Namioka-Carter system and the Carter-Heddleston system , each serotype has 2 names. One is known as B: 2 in the Carter-Heddleston system and 6: B in the Namioka-Carter system . The other is known as B: 2 in the Carter-Heddleston system and 6: E in the Namioka-Carter system . In both systems, the letter represents the capsular antigen and the number designates the somatic antigen that are used to designate the serotypes.


The distribution of the disease has a certain relationship with the type of animal reared and with the management system as well as with the climate.

It is distributed in South and Southeast Asia ( Indonesia , the Philippines , Thailand and Malaysia ), in the near and far east. In southern Europe , northern , central and eastern Africa , outbreaks have been reported in the United States , Denmark , the United Kingdom and Australia .

Affected species

It mainly occurs in cattle and water buffalo . Outbreaks have occasionally been reported in pigs in some African countries , and cases in sheep and goats have rarely been observed . Hemorrhagic septicemia has also been reported in Bison , African Buffalo , Camels , Elephants , Horses , Donkeys, and Yaks . In rabbits and mice laboratory experimental infections they have easily established.


  • By ingestion or inhalation, either during direct contact or through fomites, as food and contaminated water.
  • Some animals become carriers, preserving the organism in the lymphatic tissues and periodically expelling it through the nasal secretions.
  • It does not remain viable in the environment for long periods, but it can survive for hours and possibly days in water or wet soils.


  • The incubation period is generally 3 to 5 days, but some animals can carry the organism for varied periods and without symptoms.
  • Most cases are acute and hyperacute.
  • The first signs may be fever, lethargy, and an unwillingness to move.
  • Salivation and a profuse serous nasal discharge appear, edematous inflammations become visible in the submandibular region. These inflammations spread to the neck and chest.
  • Gastroenteritis has also been reported in calves.
  • Difficulty breathing, with foam in the mouth, and the animal usually collapses and dies 6 to 8 hours after the first clinical signs.

Morbidity and Mortality

It depends on environmental conditions, herd administration, animal immunity, and other factors. Although it can be observed at any time of the year, the grouping of the herd in humid conditions contributes to the disease spreading; the worst epidemics occur during the rainy season.

In places where hemorrhagic septicemia is not endemic, it affects animals of all ages, and the morbidity rate can be high. In endemic regions, outbreaks occur when healthy carriers are introduced to a herd.

Clinical cases usually occur in young animals between 6 months and 2 years of age. However, massive epizootics are sometimes observed. The mortality rate is close to 100% unless the animal is treated very early; once the clinical signs become apparent few animals survive.

After an outbreak, up to 20% of survivors can become carriers for a short time; at 6 months, the carrier rate is 5% or less.



It is based on history, signs, and injuries.

Laboratory analysis

It is carried out by serology tests to differentiate the types of strains A, B, D and E, based on the antigens.



The treatment is effective only in the initial phases. The only practical method is to regularly check the herd’s temperature.

After the first case is reported, start antibiotic therapy (sulfonamides, tetracyclines, penicillin, and chloramphenicol)

Prevention and control

  • It can be eradicated with quarantines, movement controls, monitoring of those who were in contact with infected animals.
  • Euthanasia of infected and exposed animals.
  • Cleaning and disinfection of establishments.
  • Vaccinate all animals from three months of age, and revaccinate 15 days after the first vaccination.
  • In cases of outbreaks, early recognition of the disease and separation or isolation of sick animals, for the administration of antibiotics and other medications, are essential for proper treatment.
  • Provide sufficient food and water for the herds.
  • Avoid subjecting the herd to stress, fatigue, overcrowding and extreme weather conditions.
  • Isolate the newly entered animals from the rest of those susceptible to exploitation.


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