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  • Author or Editor: Scott P. Carroll x
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Objective—To determine clinical signs, results of diagnostic testing, and outcome in horses with internal Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis infection.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—30 horses.

Procedure—Information pertaining to clinical data, results of diagnostic tests, and costs of hospitalization and treatment was extracted from medical records of affected horses.

Results—Internal C pseudotuberculosis infection was diagnosed on the basis of clinical signs, diagnostic imaging, and clinicopathologic data, including results of serologic tests and bacterial culture. The most common clinical signs were concurrent external abscesses, anorexia, fever, lethargy, weight loss, and signs of respiratory tract disease or abdominal pain. Clinicopathologic abnormalities included a geometric mean reciprocal serum synergistic hemolysin inhibition titer ≥ 512, leukocytosis with neutrophilia, hyperglobulinemia, hyperfibrinogenemia, and anemia. Specific organ involvement was diagnosed in 27 of 30 horses. Affected organs included the liver (18 horses), lungs (12), kidneys (7), and spleen (3); multiple organs were affected in 10 horses. Treatment with antimicrobials for a median of 36 days (range, 7 to 97 days) was usually successful, yielding an overall survival rate of 71%.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Early diagnosis and long-term antimicrobial treatment were important for a successful outcome in horses with internal C pseudotuberculosis infection. Ultrasonographic imaging was an important technique for identifying specific organs affected, aiding in obtaining samples for a definitive diagnosis, and monitoring response to treatment. Pregnant mares with internal infections are at risk for fetal loss. Preexisting chronic organ disease may be associated with a poor prognosis. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:441–448)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association


Objective—To develop and use a sensitive molecular assay for detecting the phospholipase D (PLD) exotoxin gene of Corynebacterium pseudotuberculosis in an attempt to identify insect vectors that may be important in transmission of clinical disease in horses.

Sample Population—2,621 flies of various species.

Procedure—A real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based fluorogenic 5' nuclease (TaqMan) system (ie, TaqMan PCR assay) was developed for the detection of the PLD gene in insects. Flies were collected monthly (May to November 2002) from 5 farms in northern California where C pseudotuberculosis infection in horses is endemic. Three of the 5 farms (which housed a total of 358 horses) had diseased horses during the study period. A total of 2,621 flies of various species were tested for the PLD gene of C pseudotuberculosis.

Results—Evidence of bacterial DNA for the PLD gene was detected in skin biopsy specimens from clinically affected horses and from 3 fly species collected from farms where affected horses were housed. Farms with a high incidence of diseased horses had a high proportion of insects carrying the organism. High percentages of flies with positive results for the PLD gene were observed in October, when most clinically affected horses were observed.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that C pseudotuberculosis may be vectored to horses by flies. Three potential vectors were identified, including Haematobia irritans, Stomoxys calcitrans, and Musca domestica. The organism can be identified in up to 20% of house flies (Musca domestica) in the vicinity of diseased horses. (Am J Vet Res 2004;65:829–834)

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research