Discussed

Rhodococcus equi is a bacterium in the soil that can travel to, and multiply within, the foal’s lungs, causing a deadly pneumonia if it is not caught and treated early. Hines described the possibility of developing vaccines with genetic targets that
Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

An entire morning was devoted to this economically significant disease that infects young foals, often within hours of birth. Stephen Hines, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVP, of Washington State University, reported on the pathophysiology of the disease and prospects for preventing it.

Rhodococcus equi is a bacterium in the soil that can travel to, and multiply within, the foal’s lungs, causing a deadly pneumonia if it is not caught and treated early. Hines described the possibility of developing vaccines with genetic targets that could help prevent the disease. It is notoriously difficult to test such vaccines, however, because of the expense of foal studies and the fact that veterinarians still aren’t quite sure how foals acquire the disease–exposure could happen in a number of ways.

Hines reported on recent research revealing foals are interferon-gamma deficient at birth, suggesting a potential target for preventing disease with immunomodulators that seek to boost interferon-gamma levels.

He also said that since research has shown ingestion could be the foals’ primary exposure to R. equi, the oral route could be the "key to inducing protective immunity

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Stephanie L. Church, Editorial Director, grew up riding and caring for her family’s horses in Central Virginia and received a B.A. in journalism and equestrian studies from Averett University. She joined The Horse in 1999 and has led the editorial team since 2010. A 4-H and Pony Club graduate, she enjoys dressage, eventing, and trail riding with her former graded-stakes-winning Thoroughbred gelding, It Happened Again (“Happy”). Stephanie and Happy are based in Lexington, Kentucky.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Which skin issue do you battle most frequently with your horse?
259 votes · 259 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!