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Objective—To determine whether the concentrations of airborne virulent Rhodococcus equi in stalls housing foals during the first 2 weeks after birth are associated with subsequent development of R equi pneumonia in those foals.

Sample—Air samples collected from foaling stalls and holding pens in which foals were housed during the first 2 weeks after birth.

Procedures—At a breeding farm in Texas, air samples (500 L each) were collected (January through May 2011) from stalls and pens in which 121 foals were housed on day 1 and on days 4, 7, and 14 after birth. For each sample, the concentration of airborne virulent R equi was determined with an immunoblot technique. The association between development of pneumonia and airborne R equi concentration was evaluated via random-effects Poisson regression analysis.

Results—Some air samples were not available for analysis. Of the 471 air samples collected from stalls that housed 121 foals, 90 (19%) contained virulent R equi. Twenty-four of 121 (20%) foals developed R equi pneumonia. Concentrations of virulent R equi in air samples from stalls housing foals that developed R equi pneumonia were significantly higher than those in samples from stalls housing foals that did not develop pneumonia. Accounting for disease effects, air sample concentrations of virulent R equi did not differ significantly by day after birth or by month of birth.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Exposure of foals to airborne virulent R equi during the first 2 weeks after birth was significantly (and likely causally) associated with development of R equi pneumonia.

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Case Description—3 sets of monozygotic twins resulting from transfers of single embryos to recipient mares were examined.

Clinical Findings—In all 3 recipient mares with twin pregnancies, only 1 embryonic vesicle was detected before day 25 of gestation. In 1 recipient mare, 2 apparent adjacent vesicles, each containing an embryo with a heartbeat, were visualized on ultrasonographic examination on day 37 of gestation. The other 2 recipient mares underwent ultrasonographic examination on day 30 of gestation, at which time only 1 vesicle and embryo was identified. In these latter 2 recipient mares, however, a thorough ultrasonographic examination for a second conceptus on day 30 had not been performed, as only 1 embryo had been transferred and visualized on early ultrasonographic examination.

Treatment and Outcome—All twin pregnancies resulted in death of both fetuses. Genetic analysis confirmed that each set of monozygotic twins originated from the transferred embryo.

Clinical Relevance—Monozygotic twin pregnancy may occur after embryo transfer; thus recipient mares should be examined thoroughly for multiple conceptuses, especially between 25 and 30 days of gestation. At this time, the allantoides of monozygotic twins should be visible ultrasonographically and effective management may still be possible.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To determine whether administration of killed West Nile virus vaccine was associated with pregnancy loss among broodmares.

Design—Retrospective cohort study.

Animals—595 mares.

Procedure—Records of pregnant mares with known vaccination history from 4 farms were reviewed. Information obtained from 595 mares included mare's identification; farm; age; breed; reproductive status; last breeding date; date last known pregnant; vaccination date; age of conceptus at vaccination; vaccination during the early embryonic, early fetal, and late fetal periods; and whether an early embryonic death (EED), early fetal loss (EFL), or late fetal loss (LFL) occurred. The relationships between the dichotomous outcomes of loss (eg, EED, EFL, LFL) and independent categoric variables (eg, vaccination during the early embryonic, early fetal, or late fetal periods) were examined.

Results—Vaccination of pregnant mares during any period of gestation was not associated with increased incidence of pregnancy loss.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Many mares are already pregnant at the onset of mosquito season, when mares are more likely to be vaccinated than at other times. Our findings provide evidence that vaccine administration will not compromise pregnancy in horses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1894–1897)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association