Physical and serologic examinations of foals at 30 and 45 days of age for early diagnosis of Rhodococcus equi infection on endemically infected farms

Tohru Higuchi From Hidaka Agriculture Mutual Aid Association, Mitsuishi, Hokkaido 059-31 (Higuchi, Taharaguchi, Hashikura, Hagiwara, Gojo, Satoh, Yoshida), and Department or Animal Hygiene, School or Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Towada, Aomori 034, Japan (Takai).

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Sadao Taharaguchi From Hidaka Agriculture Mutual Aid Association, Mitsuishi, Hokkaido 059-31 (Higuchi, Taharaguchi, Hashikura, Hagiwara, Gojo, Satoh, Yoshida), and Department or Animal Hygiene, School or Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Towada, Aomori 034, Japan (Takai).

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Shingo Hashikura From Hidaka Agriculture Mutual Aid Association, Mitsuishi, Hokkaido 059-31 (Higuchi, Taharaguchi, Hashikura, Hagiwara, Gojo, Satoh, Yoshida), and Department or Animal Hygiene, School or Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Towada, Aomori 034, Japan (Takai).

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Shin-taroh Hagiwara From Hidaka Agriculture Mutual Aid Association, Mitsuishi, Hokkaido 059-31 (Higuchi, Taharaguchi, Hashikura, Hagiwara, Gojo, Satoh, Yoshida), and Department or Animal Hygiene, School or Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Towada, Aomori 034, Japan (Takai).

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Chikara Gojo From Hidaka Agriculture Mutual Aid Association, Mitsuishi, Hokkaido 059-31 (Higuchi, Taharaguchi, Hashikura, Hagiwara, Gojo, Satoh, Yoshida), and Department or Animal Hygiene, School or Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Towada, Aomori 034, Japan (Takai).

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Shinsuke Satoh From Hidaka Agriculture Mutual Aid Association, Mitsuishi, Hokkaido 059-31 (Higuchi, Taharaguchi, Hashikura, Hagiwara, Gojo, Satoh, Yoshida), and Department or Animal Hygiene, School or Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Towada, Aomori 034, Japan (Takai).

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Masato Yoshida From Hidaka Agriculture Mutual Aid Association, Mitsuishi, Hokkaido 059-31 (Higuchi, Taharaguchi, Hashikura, Hagiwara, Gojo, Satoh, Yoshida), and Department or Animal Hygiene, School or Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Towada, Aomori 034, Japan (Takai).

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Shinji Takai From Hidaka Agriculture Mutual Aid Association, Mitsuishi, Hokkaido 059-31 (Higuchi, Taharaguchi, Hashikura, Hagiwara, Gojo, Satoh, Yoshida), and Department or Animal Hygiene, School or Veterinary Medicine and Animal Sciences, Kitasato University, Towada, Aomori 034, Japan (Takai).

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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)

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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