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Can J Vet Res. 1987 Oct;51(4):444-7.

Protection of foals against experimental Rhodococcus equi pneumonia by oral immunization.

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Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Immunology, Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph.


Two groups of three one to three week old foals were immunized orally on four occasions over five weeks with two strains of Rhodococcus equi, a clinical isolate from a pneumonic foal and a laboratory passaged Congo red negative variant of this strain. Three nonimmunized foals of similar age acted as controls. Three weeks after the last immunization, all foals were challenged on five occasions over seven days by aerosol infection with about 10(10) of the pneumonic foal isolate on each occasion. Control foals became seriously ill and were euthanized. Immunization with either strain protected foals equally against the challenge, and resulted in rapid lung clearance. Oral immunization can thus protect foals against severe challenge with R. equi. The proteins associated with Congo red colony staining appear not to be involved in protective immunity.

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