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Prev Vet Med. 2012 Apr 1;104(1-2):179-83. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2011.11.001. Epub 2011 Nov 29.

Molecular detection of Coxiella burnetii and Neospora caninum in equine aborted foetuses and neonates.

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Frank Duncombe Laboratory, IFR 146-ICORE, University of Caen Basse-Normandie, 14053 Caen cedex 4, France.


Abortion, stillbirth and neonatal death are major causes of equine mortality and cause severe economic loss to the equine industry. The present study was based on a complete necropsy protocol associated with classical microbiological examinations and molecular biology on 407 cases of abortion, stillbirths and neonate death. Based on this retrospective survey, "less common" abortive infectious agents were characterised by molecular tools in nine independent cases of abortion or neonate mortality. Among others, Chlamydophila abortus (1 case), Coxiella burnetii (6 cases) and Neospora caninum (3 cases) were detected by real-time PCR; one of these samples being co-infected by N. caninum and C. burnetii. DNA detection of this latter bacterium is reported here for the first time in equine abortion samples. C. burnetii should, along with other common pathogens, probably be taken into account in equine abortion.

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