Study: EPM-Causing Parasites Ubiquitous in U.S. Horses

Living where horses don’t commonly get diagnosed with EPM doesn’t mean your horse isn’t at risk.
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Living in areas where horses don’t commonly get diagnosed with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) doesn’t mean your horse isn’t at risk for contracting this significant neurologic disease. | Photo: Stephanie L. Church/The Horse

Living in areas where horses don’t commonly get diagnosed with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) doesn’t mean your horse isn’t at risk for contracting this significant neurologic disease.

In fact, the two EPM-causing parasites are more common in horses throughout all regions of the continental United States than previously thought, according to a survey performed by researchers at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. The team included members of the school’s departments of Medicine and Epidemiology and Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunity.

Study co-author Kaitlyn E. James, MPH, presented results of the paper “Seroprevalence of Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi Among Healthy Horses in the United States” at the 2015 American Association of Equine Practitioners’ Convention, held Dec. 5-9 in Las Vegas

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Michelle Anderson is the former digital managing editor at The Horse. A lifelong horse owner, Anderson competes in dressage and enjoys trail riding. She’s a Washington State University graduate and holds a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in business administration and extensive coursework in animal sciences. She has worked in equine publishing since 1998. She currently lives with her husband on a small horse property in Central Oregon.

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