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Actinobacillus and Pasteurella species isolated from horses with lower airway disease
  1. C. L. Ward, BSc, PhD1,
  2. J. L. N. Wood, BVetMed, BSc, MRCVS1,
  3. S. B. Houghton, BSc, PhD2,
  4. J. A. Mumford, BSc, PhD, HonAssocRCVS1 and
  5. N. Chanter, BSc, PhD1
  1. 1 Animal Health Trust, P0 Box 5, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7PN
  2. 2 Hoechst Roussel Vet, Walton Manor, Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire MK7 7AJ


Seventy-three bacterial isolates from 65 horses with and without evidence of lower airway disease were identified to assess whether the association with disease was accounted for by a small or large number of species. Just over half (50.5 per cent were Actinobacillus equuli, 17.8 per cent were A suis-like, 11 per cent were Pasteurella pneumotropica, 8.2 per cent were A lignieresii, 6.8 per cent were P haemolytica and 5.5 per cent were P mairii. These results suggest that a range of Actinobacillus and Pasteurella species can be isolated from the lower airways of horses, with many of the isolates being A equuli. Among the horses examined, lower airway inflammation was significantly associated with A suis-like bacteria and A lignieresii. However, these two species constituted too small a proportion of the undifferentiated Actinobacillus/Pasteurella species to explain the association of this group of bacteria with lower airway disease. Since A equuli constituted just over 50 per cent of the group of bacteria it is possible that it too is playing a significant role in lower airway disease.

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