Use of ultrasound in a case of Actinomycosis in a Holstein Friesian cow

  • Alessio Madrigali
  • Francesca Bonelli
  • Micaela Sgorbini
  • Simonetta Citi
  • Carlo Cantile
  • Filippo Fratini
  • Luca Turini
Keywords: Actinomyces bovis, dairy cows, lumpy jaw, ultrasonographic evaluation


Actinomycosis is a sporadic disease of cattle, caused by Actinomyces bovis. In presence of oral injuries or openings,
A. bovis could penetrate tissues and infect maxilla or mandible bones. A Holstein Friesian cow was presented for
inappetence, weight loss and a left-sided mandibular swelling. A unilateral swelling was visible on the left jaw as a
ventro-lateral and circular in shape. A fine-needle aspiration was collected. Ultrasonography examination was
performed. Bacteriological analysis was negative. Due to the history, actinomycosis diagnosis was suggested and the
cow was culled. Pathological examination revealed lesions indicative of chronic pyogranulomatous mandibular
osteomyelitis with intralesional colonies of gram-positive bacteria, consistent with infection due to A. bovis. The
importance of an early diagnosis was here highlighted . Since the bacterial culture is not always easy to perform and is
usually time-consuming, in case of suspected actinomycosis, the ultrasonographic findings may orient the clinician
decision to start adequate and earlier therapy. Further research is needed to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of
ultrasonography for diagnosing actinomycosis.


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How to Cite
Madrigali, A., Bonelli, F., Sgorbini, M., Citi, S., Cantile, C., Fratini, F., & Turini, L. (2020). Use of ultrasound in a case of Actinomycosis in a Holstein Friesian cow. he hai ournal of eterinary edicine, 50(1), 115-119. etrieved from
Clinical Reports