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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2003 Mar 1;222(5):620-3, 601-2.

Toxic shock syndrome in a horse with Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia.

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Broad Forks Equine Clinic, 230 Sh Rd, Comer, GA 30629, USA.


A 3-year-old Thoroughbred gelding was examined because of clinical signs of pneumonia and shock. Mucous membrane petechiation and ventral edema were observed and considered to be a result of vasculitis. Epidermal necrosis developed on the distal portions of the limbs. The horse had a persistent high fever that was unresponsive to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory treatment, and Staphylococcus aureus was isolated from a nasal swab specimen and 2 transtracheal wash fluid samples. Antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and supportive treatment resulted in clinical improvement. However, resolution of the pulmonary infection required long-term (42 days) antimicrobial administration. Staphylococcus aureus strains isolated from this horse were positive for the toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 gene and were shown to produce toxic shock syndrome toxin-1, the causative factor in toxic shock syndrome in humans. The horse's clinical signs were attributed to toxic shock syndrome secondary to pulmonary S. aureus infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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