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Am J Vet Res. 2008 Mar;69(3):385-95. doi: 10.2460/ajvr.69.3.385.

Association of soil concentrations of Rhodococcus equi and incidence of pneumonia attributable to Rhodococcus equi in foals on farms in central Kentucky.

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

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine whether soil concentrations of total or virulent Rhodococcus equi differed among breeding farms with and without foals with pneumonia caused by R equi.

SAMPLE POPULATION:

37 farms in central Kentucky. Procedures-During January, March, and July 2006, the total concentration of R equi and concentration of virulent R equi were determined by use of quantitative bacteriologic culture and a colony immunoblot technique, respectively, in soil specimens obtained from farms. Differences in concentrations and proportion of virulent isolates within and among time points were compared among farms.

RESULTS:

Soil concentrations of total or virulent R equi did not vary among farms at any time point. Virulent R equi were identified in soil samples from all farms. Greater density of mares and foals was significantly associated with farms having foals with pneumonia attributable to R equi. Among farms with affected foals, there was a significant association of increased incidence of pneumonia attributable to R equi with an increase in the proportion of virulent bacteria between samples collected in March and July.

CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE:

Results indicated that virulent R equi were commonly recovered from soil of horse breeding farms in central Kentucky, regardless of the status of foals with pneumonia attributable to R equi on each farm. The incidence of foals with pneumonia attributable to R equi can be expected to be higher at farms with a greater density of mares and foals.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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