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Antibodies to Aqx toxin of Actinobacilus equuli in horses and foals
  1. H. Berthoud, PhD,
  2. J. Frey, PhD,
  3. P. Kuhnert, PhD1,
  4. R. Straub, DVM2 and
  5. S. Sternberg, DVM3
  1. 1 Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology
  2. 2 Equine Clinic, University of Bern, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
  3. 3 Department of Disease Control and Biosecurity, National Veterinary Institute, SE-751 89 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract

Actinobacillus equuli is found in the normal oral flora of horses, but has been associated with several diseases, and particularly with the usually fatal septicaemia in neonatal foals which is thought to be associated with a failure of the passive transfer of immunoglobulins via the colostrum. The Aqx protein of A equuli, belonging to the RTX family of pore-forming toxins, is also cytotoxic to horse lymphocytes. The presence of antibodies to Aqx was investigated in sera from individual horses from different regions; the sera from adult horses and foals 24 hours after birth reacted with Aqx, and sera from foals sampled shortly after an intake of colostrum also reacted with Aqx, but sera from foals taken before an intake of colostrum did not react with Aqx.

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