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Veterinary Medicine International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 321390, 8 pages
Research Article

Ultrastructural Comparison of the Nasal Epithelia of Healthy and Naturally Affected Rabbits with Pasteurella multocida A

1Departamento de Patología, Hospital Universitario Fundación Santafé de Bogotá, Bogotá, Colombia
2Laboratorio de Patología Veterinaria, Facultad de Medicina Veterinaria, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogotá, Colombia
3Departamento de Patología Veterinaria, Facultad de Ciencias Pecuarias, Universidad de Ciencias Aplicadas y Ambientales, Bogotá, Colombia

Received 5 December 2012; Accepted 13 February 2013

Academic Editor: Jyoji Yamate

Copyright © 2013 Paula Esquinas et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


An ultrastructural comparison between the nasal cavities of healthy rabbits and those suffering from two forms of spontaneous infection with Pasteurella multocida was undertaken. Twelve commercially produced rabbits of different ages and respiratory health status were divided into four groups: healthy from 0 to 21 days (G1, ); healthy from 23 to 49 days (G2, ); healthy from 51 to 69 days (G3, ); diseased rabbits with septicemia and the rhinitic form of P. multocida infection (G4, ). The main ultrastructural changes observed were a widening of the interepithelial spaces, increased activity and number of goblet cells, the formation of two types of vacuoles in epithelial cells, the degranulation and migration of heterophils between the epithelial cells, and the association of this migration with some of the other changes. No bacteria were observed adhering to the epithelium, and very few were observed free in the mucus. Scant inter-epithelial spaces were found in healthy rabbits, but they were not as large and numerous as those found in diseased animals. We discuss the origin and meaning of these changes but, we focus on the significance of the inter-epithelial spaces and goblet cells for the defense of the upper respiratory airways against the bacterium and its lipopolysaccharide.