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Objective—To compare isolates of Rhodococcus equi on the basis of geographic source and virulence status by use of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE).

Sample Population—290 isolates of R equi(218 virulent isolates from foals and 72 avirulent isolates from feces, soil, and respiratory tract samples) obtained between 1985 and 2000 from horses and horse farms from 4 countries.

Procedure—DNA from isolates was digested with the restriction enzyme AseI and tested by use of PFGE. Products were analyzed for similarities in banding patterns by use of dendrograms. A similarity matrix was constructed for isolates, and the matrix was tested for nonrandom distributions of similarity values with respect to groupings of interest.

Results—There was little grouping of isolates on the basis of country, virulence status, or region within Texas. Isolates of R equi were generally < 80% similar, as determined by use of PFGE. Isolates from the same farm generally were rarely of the same strain.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Considerable chromosomal variability exists among isolates of R equi obtained from the same farm, sites within Texas, or among countries from various continents. Only rarely will it be possible to link infections to a given site or region on the basis of analysis of isolates by use of PFGE of chromosomal DNA. (Am J Vet Res 2003;64:153–161)

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in American Journal of Veterinary Research


OBJECTIVE To develop and evaluate a pyramid training method for teaching techniques for collection of diagnostic samples from swine.

DESIGN Experimental trial.

SAMPLE 45 veterinary students.

PROCEDURES Participants went through a preinstruction assessment to determine their familiarity with the equipment needed and techniques used to collect samples of blood, nasal secretions, feces, and oral fluid from pigs. Participants were then shown a series of videos illustrating the correct equipment and techniques for collecting samples and were provided hands-on pyramid-based instruction wherein a single swine veterinarian trained 2 or 3 participants on each of the techniques and each of those participants, in turn, trained additional participants. Additional assessments were performed after the instruction was completed.

RESULTS Following the instruction phase, percentages of participants able to collect adequate samples of blood, nasal secretions, feces, and oral fluid increased, as did scores on a written quiz assessing participants' ability to identify the correct equipment, positioning, and procedures for collection of samples.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Results suggested that the pyramid training method may be a feasible way to rapidly increase diagnostic sampling capacity during an emergency veterinary response to a swine disease outbreak.

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in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association