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Abstract

Objective—To explore whether early analysis of spatial data may result in identification of variables associated with epidemic spread of foot and mouth disease.

Sample Population—37 farms with infected cattle (ie, case farms) reported within the first 6 days of the 2001 Uruguayan foot-and-mouth disease epidemic.

Procedure—A georeferenced database was created and retrospective analysis was performed on case farm location in relation to farm density, cattle density, farm type (ie, beef vs dairy cattle production), road density, case farm distance to the nearest road, farm size, farm ownership, and day of infection. Mean or median results of 1 to 3 day versus 4 to 6 day spatial data were compared. Spatial-temporal associations were investigated by correlation analysis.

Results—Comparison of mean or median values between the first 3 days and days 4 to 6 of the epidemic and results of correlation analysis indicated a significant increase in road density, cattle density, and dairy cattle production and a significant decrease in farm size and case farm distance to the nearest road that developed over time. A route that linked most case farms by the shortest possible distance and also considered significantly associated variables was created. It included 86.1% of all case farms reported by 60 days into the epidemic.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Epidemic direction can be assessed on the basis of road density and other spatial variables as early as 6 days into an epidemic. Epidemic control areas may be more effectively identified if local and regional georeferenced data are considered. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:1519–1527)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate effects of toe grabs, exercise intensity, and distance traveled as risk factors for subclinical to mild suspensory apparatus injury (SMSAI) in Thoroughbred racehorses and to compare incidence of severe musculoskeletal injury (MSI) in horses with and without SMSAI.

Design—Nested case-control study.

Animals—219 Thoroughbred racehorses racing or in race training.

Procedure—Racehorses were examined weekly for 90 days to determine incidence of suspensory ligament injury and monitor horseshoe characteristics. Every horse's exercise speeds and distances were recorded daily. Conditional logistic regression was used to compare exposure variables between incident case (n = 25) and selected control (125) horses. Survival analysis was used to compare time to MSI for horses with (n = 41) and without (76) SMSAI.

Results—The best-fitting logistic model for the data included age (< 5 vs ≥ 5 years old), toe grab height the week of injury (none vs very low, low, regular, or Quarter Horse height), and weekly distance the week preceding injury (miles). Although the 95% confidence intervals for all odds ratios included 1, the odds for SMSAI appeared to increase with the presence of a toe grab, higher weekly distance, and age ≥ 5 years. Horses that had SMSAI were significantly more likely to have a severe MSI or severe suspensory apparatus injury than were horses that did not.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that pre-existing SMSAI is associated with development of severe MSI and severe suspensory apparatus injury. Modifying training intensity and toe grab height for horses with SMSAI may decrease the incidence of severe MSI. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2001; 218:1136–1144)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To define scintigraphic, physical examination, and scapular ultrasonographic findings consistent with bone fragility syndrome (BFS) in horses; develop indices of BFS severity; and assess accuracy of physical examination, scapular ultrasonography, and serum biomarkers for BFS diagnosis.

Design—Prospective case-control study.

Animals—48 horses (20 horses with BFS and 28 control horses).

Procedures—Horses underwent forelimb scintigraphic evaluation, physical examination, scapular ultrasonography, and serum collection. Scintigraphy was used as a reference standard to which physical examination, scapular ultrasonography, and concentrations of serum biomarkers (carboxy-terminal telopeptide of collagen crosslinks and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase activity) were compared for assessing accuracy in BFS diagnosis.

Results—A diagnosis of BFS was strongly supported on scintigraphy by ≥ 2 regions of increased radiopharmaceutical uptake, including 1 region in the scapular spine and 1 region in the scapular body or ribs; on physical examination by lateral bowing of the scapulae; and on ultrasonography by widening of the scapular spine. None of the tests evaluated were accurate enough to replace scintigraphy for mild disease; however, physical examination and scapular ultrasonography were accurate in horses with moderate to severe BFS. Serum biomarkers were not accurate for BFS diagnosis.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Scintigraphy remained the most informative diagnostic modality for BFS, providing insight into disease severity and distribution; however, physical examination and scapular ultrasonographic abnormalities were diagnostic in horses with moderate to severe disease. Proposed severity indices classified the spectrum of disease manifestations. Clearly defined criteria for interpretation of diagnostic tests aid in the detection of BFS. Severity indices may be useful for assessing disease progression and response to treatment.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To estimate likelihood ratios (LRs) of correctly identifying internal Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infection in horses by measurement of antibody titers via serum synergistic hemolysis inhibition (SHI) testing.

Design—Retrospective case-control study.

Animals—170 horses (171 records; 92 cases of C pseudotuberculosis infection and 79 controls).

Procedures—Medical records were reviewed, and horses were grouped on the basis of evidence of internal or external C pseudotuberculosis infection. The LRs and 95% confidence intervals for identification of internal C pseudotuberculosis infection by use of SHI test results were estimated.

Results—LRs for C pseudotuberculosis infection increased as antibody titers increased when all horses were included in analyses; LRs for detecting internal infection were significantly > 1 (null value) for reciprocal antibody titers ≥ 1,280 overall and > 160 when horses with external abscesses were excluded. Likelihood ratios for detecting internal infection did not differ from 1 (indicating no change in pretest-to-posttest odds of internal infection) when only horses with external C pseudotuberculosis infection (horses with external and internal abscesses vs those with external abscesses only) were included. The LR for detecting internal infection was 2.98 (95% confidence interval, 2.19 to 4.05) for horses with titers ≥ 512.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In the study population, higher titers were typically more indicative of active external or internal C pseudotuberculosis infection than of internal disease specifically. The SHI test was not a useful predictor of internal C pseudotuberculosis infection in horses with external abscesses but was useful in the absence of external disease.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association