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  • Author or Editor: Joe B. Stricklin x
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Objective—To compare temperature readings from an implantable percutaneous thermal sensing microchip with temperature readings from a digital rectal thermometer, to identify factors that affect microchip readings, and to estimate the sensitivity and specificity of the microchip for fever detection.

Design—Prospective study.

Animals—52 Welsh pony foals that were 6 to 10 months old and 30 Quarter Horses that were 2 years old.

Procedures—Data were collected in summer, winter, and fall in groups 1 (n = 23 ponies), 2 (29 ponies), and 3 (30 Quarter Horses), respectively. Temperature readings from a digital rectal thermometer and a percutaneous thermal sensing microchip as well as ambient temperature were recorded daily for 17, 23, and 19 days in groups 1 through 3, respectively. Effects of ambient temperature and rectal temperature on thermal sensor readings were estimated. Sensitivity and specificity of the thermal sensor for detection of fever (rectal temperature, ≥ 38.9°C [102°F]) were estimated separately for data collection at ambient temperatures ≤ 15.6°C (60°F) and > 15.6°C.

Results—Mean ambient temperatures were 29.0°C (84.2°F), −2.7°C (27.1°F), and 10.4°C (50.8°F) for groups 1 through 3, respectively. Thermal sensor readings varied with ambient temperature and rectal temperature. Rectal temperatures ranged from 36.2° to 41.7°C (97.2° to 107°F), whereas thermal sensor temperature readings ranged from 23.9° (75°F) to 42.2°C (75° to 108°F). Sensitivity for fever detection was 87.4%, 53.3%, and 58.3% in groups 1 to 3, respectively.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The thermal sensor appeared to have potential use for initial screening of body temperature in equids at ambient temperatures > 15.6°C.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To compare neutralizing antibody response between horses vaccinated against West Nile virus (WNV) and horses that survived naturally occurring infection.

Design—Cross-sectional observational study.

Animals—187 horses vaccinated with a killed WNV vaccine and 37 horses with confirmed clinical WNV infection.

Procedure—Serum was collected from vaccinated horses prior to and 4 to 6 weeks after completion of an initial vaccination series (2 doses) and 5 to 7 months later. Serum was collected from affected horses 4 to 6 weeks after laboratory diagnosis of infection and 5 to 7 months after the first sample was obtained. The IgM capture ELISA, plaque reduction neutralization test (PRNT), and microtiter virus neutralization test were used.

Results—All affected horses had PRNT titers ≥ 1:100 at 4 to 6 weeks after onset of disease, and 90% (18/20) maintained this titer for 5 to 7 months. After the second vaccination, 67% of vaccinated horses had PRNT titers ≥ 1:100 and 14% had titers < 1:10. Five to 7 months later, 33% (28/84) of vaccinated horses had PRNT titers ≥ 1:100, whereas 29% (24/84) had titers < 1:10. Vaccinated and clinically affected horses' end point titers had decreased by 5 to 7 months after vaccination.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—A portion of horses vaccinated against WNV may respond poorly. Vaccination every 6 months may be indicated in certain horses and in areas of high vector activity. Other preventative methods such as mosquito control are warranted to prevent WNV infection in horses. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;226:240–245)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association