Article Text

Surveillance focus
Strangles: a pathogenic legacy of the war horse
  1. Andrew S. Waller
  1. Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU


Strangles, characterised by pyrexia followed by abscessation of the lymph nodes of the head and neck, was first described in 1251 (Rufus 1251) and the causative agent, Streptococcus equi, was identified in 1888 (Schutz 1888). However, despite more than a century of research into this disease, strangles remains the most frequently diagnosed infection of horses with over 600 outbreaks being identified in the UK alone each year (Parkinson and others 2011). Here, Andrew Waller reviews some of the recent advances in the understanding of the evolution of S equi and puts this into the context of preventing and resolving outbreaks of infection.

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