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Use of a novel serological test for exposure to Streptococcus equi subspecies equi in hospitalised horses
  1. E. J. Knowles, MA, VetMB, MRCVS1,
  2. T. S. Mair, BVSc, PhD, DEIM, DESTS, DipECEIM, MRCVS1,
  3. N. Butcher, BSc, MSc2,
  4. A. S. Waller, BSc, PhD2 and
  5. J. L. N. Wood, BVetMed, BSc, MSc, PhD, DLSHTM, DipECVPH, MRCVS3
  1. 1 Bell Equine Veterinary Clinic, Butchers Lane, Mereworth, Kent ME18 5GS
  2. 2 Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU
  3. 3 Cambridge Infectious Diseases Consortium, Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Cambridge, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0ES
  1. E-mail for correspondence: e.j.knowles{at}


Thirty horses with no external signs of strangles were tested for exposure to Streptococcus equi subspecies equi (S equi) using a new, commercially available serological test. The horses were also tested for persistent carriage of S equi by endoscopy of the guttural pouches and PCR analysis of lavage samples. The owners were questioned about the recent medical history of the horses. Serology suggested that four horses had been recently exposed to S equi. None of the horses had a known history of strangles but three of the four seropositive horses had recently shown non-specific signs of respiratory disease. One asymptomatic horse was positive for S equi by PCR, but none had both guttural pouch abnormalities and a positive PCR result. Ten additional horses known to have strangles were all seropositive by the serological test.

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