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Am J Vet Res. 2002 Jan;63(1):95-8.

Association of pneumonia in foals caused by Rhodococcus equi with farm soil geochemistry.

Author information

  • 1Department of Large Animal Medicine and Surgery, College of Veterinary Medicine, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To quantify and compare geochemical factors in surface soils from horse-breeding farms with horses with pneumonia caused by Rhodococcus equi (affected farms) and horse-breeding farms with no history of pneumonia caused by R equi (unaffected farms).

SAMPLE POPULATION:

Soil from 24 R equi-affected farms and 21 unaffected farms.

PROCEDURE:

Equine veterinary practitioners throughout Texas submitted surface soil samples from areas most frequented by foals, on R equi-affected and unaffected horse-breeding farms in their practice. Soil samples were assayed for the following factors: pH, salinity, nitrate, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, sulfur, zinc, iron, manganese, and copper. Median values for all factors were recorded, and differences between affected and unaffected farms were compared.

RESULTS:

Significant differences in soil factors were not detected between affected and unaffected farms; hence, there was no association between those factors and R equi disease status of the farms.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

The surface soil factors monitored in this study were not significant risk factors for pneumonia caused by R equi. As such, it is not possible to determine whether foals on a given farm are at increased risk of developing disease caused by R equi on the basis of these factors. Data do not support altering surface soil for factors examined, such as alkalinization by applying lime, as viable control strategies for R equi.

PMID:
16206788
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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