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Zentralbl Veterinarmed B. 1999 Nov;46(9):641-8.

Effect of prophylactic administration of hyperimmune plasma to prevent Rhodococcus equi infection on foals from endemically affected farms.

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Hidaka Agriculture Mutual Aid Association, Hokkaido, Japan.


The effect on foals of prophylactic administration of hyperimmune plasma to prevent R. equi infection was investigated on three farms at which R. equi infection was endemic. Sixteen foals between 10 and 39 days of age were intravenously given 1-21 of hyperimmune plasma. ELISA antibody titres against R. equi were significantly increased and maintained at high levels for over 30 days in most of the recipient foals. The prevalence of R. equi infection was 6.3% (1/16) in the foals that received the immune plasma, and 26.3% (5/19) in the control foals not given the immune plasma on the three farms. For 2 years before and after this field trial on the three farms, 18 of 64 foals (28.1%) showed clinical signs of respiratory tract infection and four of them died of R. equi pneumonia. Heavy contamination of horses and their environment with virulent R. equi was detected by colony blotting, and plasmid profiles also suggested that foals on the three farms were constantly exposed to virulent R. equi. The results of this field trial support previous observations by some researchers that the administration of hyperimmune plasma to foals in the early days of life promotes prevention of R. equi infection on endemic farms; however, the mechanism of hyperimmune plasma protection remains unclear.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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