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Abstract

Objective—To determine efficacy of a commercially available hyperimmune plasma product for prevention of naturally acquired pneumonia caused by Rhodococcus equiin foals.

Design—Randomized clinical trial.

Animals—165 foals.

Procedure—Foals were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups (hyperimmune plasma or nontreated controls). Foals with failure of passive transfer (FPT) of immunity were treated with hyperimmune plasma and evaluated as a third group. Foals that received plasma were given 950 ml between 1 and 10 days of age and between 30 and 50 days of age. A tracheobronchial aspirate was obtained from foals with clinical signs of respiratory tract disease for bacteriologic culture.

Results—A significant difference in incidence of pneumonia caused by R equi in foals with adequate passive transfer was not detected between foals that received plasma (19.1%) and nontreated foals (30%). Of 13 foals without FPT that received plasma and developed pneumonia caused by R equi, 12 developed disease prior to administration of the second dose of hyperimmune plasma. Incidence of undifferentiated pneumonia of all causes was not different between groups.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Intravenous administration of the commercially available hyperimmune plasma was safe, and the product contained high concentrations of anti-R equi antibodies. However, within this limited foal population, the difference in incidence of pneumonia caused by R equi observed between foals that received plasma and control foals was not significant. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:59–63)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate WBC concentration, plasma fibrinogen concentration, and an agar gel immunodiffusion (AGID) test for early identification of Rhodococcus equi-infected foals.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—162 foals from a farm with enzootic R equi infection.

Procedure—Blood samples were obtained from each foal at 4-week intervals for measurement of WBC and plasma fibrinogen concentrations and at 2-week intervals for detection of anti-R equi antibody by an AGID assay. Diagnostic performance of WBC and fibrinogen concentrations was assessed by use of receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. For each assay, sensitivity, specificity, and predictive values were calculated at various cutoff points; bacteriologic culture of R equi from a tracheobronchial aspirate was used as the reference standard test.

Results—Diagnostic performance of WBC concentration was significantly higher than that of fibrinogen concentration. Sensitivity and specificity of measurement of WBC concentration at a cutoff of 13,000 cells/µL were 95.2 and 61.2%, respectively; at a cutoff of 15,000 cells/µL, sensitivity was 78.6% and specificity was 90.8%. When a positive test result was used as the cutoff, sensitivity of the AGID assay was 62.5% and specificity was 53.8%.

Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Monitoring WBC concentration is a useful approach for early detection of infected foals on farms with a high prevalence of R equi pneumonia. In contrast, serologic surveillance by use of an AGID assay is of little benefit for that purpose. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:775–781)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To examine the relationship between abdominal surgery and nosocomial Salmonella infections and the relationship between high caseload in combination with abdominal surgery and nosocomial Salmonella infections in hospitalized horses with signs of gastrointestinal tract disease.

Animals—140 horses.

Design—Case-control study.

Procedures—To accomplish the first objective, 1 to 4 control horses were matched with each nosocomial case horse on the basis of admission date of a primary case horse. The frequency of abdominal surgery and other investigated exposure factors were compared between nosocomial case horses and control horses. For the second objective, 4 control horses were matched with each nosocomial case horse on the basis of year of admission. The frequency of high caseload (≥ 26 inpatients), abdominal surgery, and other factors was compared between nosocomial case horses and control horses.

Results—The odds of nosocomial Salmonella infection were 8 times as high (odds ratio = 8.2; 95% confidence interval = 1.11, 60.24) in horses that underwent abdominal surgery, compared with the odds for horses that did not undergo surgery. High caseload alone or in combination with abdominal surgery was not associated with increased risk of nosocomial Salmonella infection.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Abdominal surgery was identified as a risk factor for nosocomial Salmonella infections in horses. Horses that undergo abdominal surgery require enhanced infection control and preventative care. Risk of nosocomial Salmonella infections may be reduced by implementation of biosecurity measures (such as the use of plastic boots, gloves, and footbaths) immediately after surgery.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To estimate prevalence of and identify risk factors for fecal Salmonella shedding among hospitalized horses with signs of gastrointestinal tract disease.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Animals—465 hospitalized horses with gastrointestinal tract disease.

Procedure—Horses were classified as positive or negative for fecal Salmonella shedding during hospitalization by means of standard aerobic bacteriologic methods. The relationship between investigated exposure factors and fecal Salmonella shedding was examined by means of logistic regression.

Results—The overall prevalence of fecal Salmonella shedding was 13%. Salmonella serotype Newport was the most commonly isolated serotype (12/60 [20%]), followed by Anatum (8/60 [13%]), Java (13%), and Saint-paul (13%). Foals with gastrointestinal tract disease were 3.27 times as likely to be shedding Salmonella organisms as were adult horses with gastrointestinal tract disease. Adult horses that had been treated with antimicrobial drugs prior to hospitalization were 3.09 times as likely to be shedding Salmonella organisms as were adult horses that had not been treated with antimicrobial drugs prior to hospitalization. Adult horses that underwent abdominal surgery were 2.09 times as likely to be shedding Salmonella organisms as were adult horses that did not undergo abdominal surgery.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggest that a history of exposure to antimicrobial drugs prior to hospitalization and abdominal surgery during hospitalization were associated with Salmonella shedding in adult horses with gastrointestinal tract disease. Foals with gastrointestinal tract disease were more likely to shed Salmonella organisms than were adult horses with gastrointestinal tract disease. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:275–281)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association