Characterization and identification of microbial communities in bovine necrotic vulvovaginitis

N. Y. Shpigel*, L. Adler-Ashkenazy, S. Scheinin, T. Goshen, A. Arazi, Z. Pasternak, Y. Gottlieb

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Bovine necrotic vulvovaginitis (BNVV) is a severe and potentially fatal disease of post-partum cows that emerged in Israel after large dairy herds were merged. While post-partum cows are commonly affected by mild vulvovaginitis (BVV), in BNVV these benign mucosal abrasions develop into progressive deep necrotic lesions leading to sepsis and death if untreated. The etiology of BNVV is still unknown and a single pathogenic agent has not been found. We hypothesized that BNVV is a polymicrobial disease where the normally benign vaginal microbiome is remodeled and affects the local immune response. To this end, we compared the histopathological changes and the microbial communities using 16S rDNA metagenetic technique in biopsies taken from vaginal lesions in post-partum cows affected by BVV and BNVV. The hallmark of BNVV was the formation of complex polymicrobial communities in the submucosal fascia and abrogation of neutrophil recruitment in these lesions. Additionally, there was a marked difference in the composition of bacterial communities in the BNVV lesions in comparison to the benign BVV lesions. This difference was characterized by the abundance of Bacteroidetes and lower total community membership in BNVV. Indicator taxa for BNVV were Parvimonas, Porphyromonas, unclassified Veillonellaceae, Mycoplasma and Bacteroidetes, whereas unclassified Clostridiales was an indicator for BVV. The results support a polymicrobial etiology for BNVV.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)34-39
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary Journal
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • 16S metagenetics
  • Dairy cows
  • Microbiome
  • Neutrophils
  • Vaginitis


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