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  • Author or Editor: James M. Donahue x
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Abstract

Objective—To identify Actinobacillus spp isolates recovered from fetuses and pericardial fluid from horses affected with mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS) and determine whether these bacterial species are the same as those isolated from clinically normal horses.

Sample Population—Isolates of actinobacilli recovered from 18 horses with pericarditis and 109 fetuses aborted by mares affected by MRLS.

ProceduresActinobacillus spp isolates were identified to the level of species or subspecies by use of conventional phenotypic tests and biochemical and enzyme test kits. The 16S rRNA gene from selected isolates was amplified, purified, and sequenced. Sequence data were compared with sequence data for actinobacilli in GenBank.

Results—Of the 109 isolates obtained from fetuses, 14 were Actinobacillus equuli subsp equuli, 65 were A equuli subsp haemolyticus, 28 were Bisgaard taxon 10–like bacterium, and 2 were Actinobacillus genomospecies 1. Of the 18 isolates from horses with pericarditis, 4 were A equuli subsp equuli, 13 were A equuli subsp haemolyticus, and 1 was Bisgaard taxon 10–like bacterium. Comparisons with published data and GenBank data revealed that the isolates recovered from horses with MRLS were the same as those isolated from the oral cavity or alimentary tract of healthy horses.

Conclusions and Clinical RelevanceActinobacillus spp isolates recovered from fetuses and pericardial fluid samples of horses affected by MRLS in 2001 to 2003 were identical to Actinobacillus spp found in the oral cavity and alimentary tracts of healthy horses.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors significantly associated with an epidemic of fibrinous pericarditis during spring 2001 among horses in central Kentucky.

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—38 horses with fibrinous pericarditis and 30 control horses examined for other reasons.

Procedure—A questionnaire was developed to solicit information regarding a wide range of management practices and environmental exposures from farm owners or managers.

Results—The following factors were found in bivariate analyses to be significantly associated with an increased risk of pericarditis: being from a farm with mares and foals affected by mare reproductive loss syndrome, exposure to Eastern tent caterpillars in or around horse pastures, younger age, shorter duration of residence in Kentucky and at the farm of current residence, being fed hay grown outside Kentucky, a lack of access to pond water, access to orchard grass for grazing, and a lack of direct contact with cattle. In multivariate logistic regression analyses, only variables related to caterpillar exposure and age were significantly associated with fibrinous pericarditis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that fibrinous pericarditis in horses may be associated with mare reproductive loss syndrome. Exposure to Eastern tent caterpillars was the greatest risk factor for development of fibrinous pericarditis. The distribution of times of diagnosis of fibrinous pericarditis was consistent with a point-source epidemic. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:832–838)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Case Description—A 4-year-old Thoroughbred mare was evaluated because of placental abnormalities and a retained placental remnant.

Clinical Findings—Microbial culture of the placenta yielded pure growth of Amycolatopsis spp. Histologic examination of the placenta revealed a focally expanding chorionitis with intralesional gram-positive filamentous bacilli and multifocal allantoic adenomatous hyperplasia on the apposing allantoic surface.

Treatment and Outcome—Treatment with lavage and oxytocin resulted in expulsion of the placental remnant within hours of parturition. The mare did not become pregnant again despite multiple breedings. The foal appeared healthy but died of complications during an elective surgical procedure at 7 weeks of age.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—To the author's knowledge, all previously confirmed cases of nocardioform placentitis have been in mares bred in the central Kentucky region. Indications that the pathogen in the mare reported here is a different species than that isolated in Kentucky suggest that this is an emerging disease. Mares with nocardioform placentitis usually do not have the same clinical signs as mares with placentitis resulting from an ascending pathogen.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To determine the impact of antimicrobial-containing semen extender on the growth of Taylorella equigenitalis in semen culture-positive for contagious equine metritis (CEM) and the development of CEM after artificial insemination with CEM-positive semen extended with antimicrobial-containing semen extender.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—21 mature mares free of CEM, 1 mature stallion experimentally infected with CEM, and semen from a stallion naturally infected with CEM.

Procedures—CEM-positive semen was incubated in semen extender with and without antimicrobials (amikacin [final concentration, 1 g/L] and penicillin G potassium [0.63 g/L]) followed by determination of the number of colony-forming units of T equigenitalis. Mares were inseminated with raw, extended, or cryopreserved semen culture-positive for T equigenitalis and observed for clinical signs of CEM. Samples for bacterial culture were obtained from the uterus, clitoral sinuses, and clitoral fossa of mares 7, 14, and 21 days after artificial insemination.

Results—Antimicrobial-containing semen extender significantly reduced the number of colony-forming units of T equigenitalis in CEM-positive semen. Artificial insemination with raw CEM-positive semen resulted in clinical signs of CEM, whereas artificial insemination with extended or cryopreserved CEM-positive semen did not result in clinical signs of CEM.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Antimicrobial-containing semen extender significantly reduced the risk of dissemination of CEM. The inclusion of amikacin (1 g/L) and penicillin G potassium (0.63 g/L) in extended semen reduced the transmission of CEM from stallions to mares during artificial insemination, which may result in altered dissemination of the disease.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors associated with abortions of mares during late gestation attributed to mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS).

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—282 broodmares from 62 farms in central Kentucky, including 137 mares that had late-term abortions (LTAs) associated with MRLS, 98 mares from the same farms that did not abort, and 48 mares that aborted from causes other than MRLS.

Procedure—Farm managers were interviewed to obtain data on a wide range of management practices and environmental exposures for the mares. Data for case and control horses were compared to identify risk factors for a mare having a MRLS-associated LTA (MRLS-LTA).

Results—Several factors increased the risk of mares having MRLS-LTAs, including increased amount of time at pasture, less time in a stall, feeding concentrate on the ground, higher proportion of diet derived from grazing pasture, being fed in pasture exclusively during the 4-week period prior to abortion, access to pasture after midnight during the 4-week period prior to abortion, and drinking from a water trough or not having access to water buckets or automatic waterers.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis indicates that exposure to pasture predisposed mares to having MRLS-LTAs and stillborn foals. Methods for limiting exposure to pasture (keeping mares in stalls longer) during environmental conditions similar to those seen in 2001 should reduce the risk of mares having MRLS-LTAs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:199–209)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To identify factors associated with abortions during early gestation classified as mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS).

Design—Case-control study.

Animals—324 broodmares from 43 farms in central Kentucky, including 121 mares from 25 farms that had early-term abortions (ETAs) associated with MRLS (case horses), 120 mares from the same farms but that did not abort, and 83 mares from 18 farms that were not severely impacted by MRLS.

Procedure—Farm managers were interviewed to obtain data on various management practices and environmental exposures for the mares. Data for case and control horses were compared to identify risk factors for mares having MRLS-associated ETAs.

Results—Several factors increased the risk of MRLS-associated ETAs, including feeding hay in pasture, greater than usual amounts of white clover in pastures, more eastern tent caterpillars in pastures, abortion during a previous pregnancy, and sighting deer or elk on the premises.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Analysis indicates that certain characteristics of pastures predisposed mares to MRLS-associated ETAs. Methods for limiting exposure to pasture (keeping mares in stalls longer) during environmental conditions similar to those of 2001 (ie, sudden freezing in mid-April following warmer-than-usual springtime temperatures and larger-than-usual numbers of eastern tent caterpillars in and around pastures) should reduce the risk of mares having MRLS-associated ETAs. It was not possible to determine whether exposure to white clover or caterpillars were causal factors for MRLS or were merely indicators of unusual environmental conditions that resulted in exposure of mares to a toxic or infectious agent. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:210–217)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association