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Int J Food Microbiol. 2000 Apr 10;55(1-3):295-8.

Resistance of Rhodococcus equi to acid pH.

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Laboratoire de Microbiologie de l'Environnement, IRBA, Université de Caen, France.


Rhodococcus equi is an important gram-positive intracellular facultative pathogen in foals of less than 3 months of age, that causes suppurative bronchopneumonia, lymphadenitis and/or enteritis. The disease in young foals mainly occurs in spring and summer when weather conditions are favorable for survival and multiplication of the bacteria in the environment. R. equi is widespread in the environment of horsebreeding farms: it has been isolated from the soil of paddocks and from the feces of adult horses and foals. Aerosol infection via dust of paddocks seems to be the major route of foal infections. The molecular mechanisms associated with the pathogenesis are not well understood and little is known about the markers or factors associated with virulence of R. equi. However, the discovery of a large plasmid in virulent strains and its association with virulence in mice and in young foals was reported. In this report, we studied the acid resistance of virulent R. equi in comparison with its avirulent plasmid-free isogene.

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