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Vet Microbiol. 1997 Jun 16;56(3-4):301-12.

Pathogenicity and virulence of Rhodococcus equi in foals following intratracheal challenge.

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  • 1Epizootic Research Station, Equine Research Institute, Japan Racing Association, Tochigi, Japan. wada@epizoo.equinst.go.jp


Twelve foals, between 27 and 83 days old, were infected with 2 strains of Rhodococcus equi by intratracheal administration. Ten of the 12 foals were inoculated with 10(4)-10(10) colony forming units (cfu) of ATCC 33701 strain. The other 2 foals were inoculated with 10(9) cfu of a plasmid-cured derivative of the ATCC 33701 strain (ATCC 33701P-). All of the 10 foals challenged with the ATCC 33701 strain showed clinical signs of pulmonary disease within 5-13 days, such as gross lesions associated with acute bronchopneumonia and microscopic lesions associated with granulomatous pneumonia. The two foals challenged with the ATCC 33701P- strain showed neither clinical signs of disease nor gross lesions. Apparently, when lacking plasmid, the virulent Rhodococcus equi lost its pathogenicity.

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