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  • Author or Editor: Sadao Taharaguchi x
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Objective

To evaluate results of physical and serologic examinations of foals at 30 and 45 days of age on 3 types of farms with various prevalences of clinical disease (endemic, sporadic, none) caused by Rhodococcus equi and to determine whether evaluations were helpful in early diagnosis and control of the disease.

Design

Prospective cohort study.

Animals

144 foals at 30 and 45 days of age.

Procedure

During a 2-year period, 36 foals on farms at which R equi infection was endemic, 71 foals on farms at which the disease was sporadically detected, and 37 foals on farms without the disease were examined by means of auscultation of lungs, serum biochemical and hematologic analyses, and determination of antibody titers against R equi, using ELISA. Transtracheal aspirates were obtained from 14 of 32 foals that had clinical signs of disease and 7 of 41 seropositive foals that did not have clinical signs of disease.

Results

Prevalences of respiratory tract disease and seropositive conversion rates for 45-day-old foals on endemically and sporadically infected farms were significantly higher than on farms without the disease. Rhodococcus equi was isolated from tracheal aspirates of seropositive foals, even when clinical signs were not evident.

Clinical Implications

Physical and serologic examinations of foals at 30 and 45 days of age were useful for early diagnosis of R equi infection, especially for foals on farms at which the disease was endemic. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;212:976–981)

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association