AAEP Publishes Epizootic Lymphangitis Guidelines

The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) has published on its website comprehensive guidelines to assist practitioners and regulatory agencies with identification, diagnosis, and control of epizootic lymphangitis, epizootic lymphangitis a contagious chronic granulomatous disease of the skin, lymphatic vessels, and nodes of the limbs, neck, and chest of horses and other equid species.

Although epizootic lymphangitis is not known to occur in horses in the United States, the fungal disease is common in parts of Africa, the Middle East, Russia, and Asia, where it is responsible for significant morbidity with chronic weight loss and progressive debility in affected animals.

“While epizootic lymphangitis has not been recorded in the United States, its importance as a transboundary/foreign animal disease needs to be emphasized because of its similarity to several domestic diseases with which it can be clinically mistaken, including ulcerative lymphangitis and streptothricosis (e.g., rain rot),” said guidelines author Peter Timoney, MVB, MS, PhD, FRCCVS, the Frederick Van Lennep Chair in Equine Veterinary Science at the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center, in Lexington. “Were it to be introduced, the causal agent can survive in dust and soil for an extended interval under conditions of heat and humidity, making it virtually impossible to eliminate.”

Epizootic lymphangitis is an OIE (World Organisation for Animal Health) nonlisted disease even though it is of significant socioeconomic importance in countries where it is endemic, some of which engage in international trade of animals and animal products. Any suspicion of the disease in the United States is immediately reportable to the USDA and state animal health officials in all 50 states and territories.

The Epizootic Lymphangitis Guidelines were edited and reviewed by Abby Sage, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, chair of the Infectious Disease Guidelines Subcommittee of the AAEP’s Infectious Disease Committee.

View the AAEP Epizootic Lymphangitis Guidelines or save them to your mobile device as a PDF file. Besides epizootic lymphangitis, AAEP guidelines for two other foreign animal diseases are available at aaep.org/infectious-disease-control/foreign-animal-disease-guidelines. In addition, AAEP guidelines for 22 other equine infectious diseases are available at aaep.org/guidelines/infectious-disease-control/using-guidelines.