If infection with any of the three organisms is suspected in any mare, stallion or teaser on the basis of clinical signs, all breeding activities must cease immediately. The affected horse(s) should be isolated and swabbed by the attending veterinary surgeon.
If T. equigenitalis, K. pneumoniae (capsule types 1, 2 or 5) or P. aeruginosa is subsequently isolated from any mare, stallion or teaser:
Stop mating, teasing and collection and insemination of semen immediately;
Seek veterinary advice immediately;
Isolate and treat the infected horse(s) as advised by the attending veterinary surgeon. In the case of T. equigenitalis, the laboratory will have notified Defra/APHA, who may give directions which must be followed (see Appendix 11);
Arrange swabbing of any in contact horses, as advised by the attending veterinary surgeon or, in the case of T. equigenitalis, with Defra/APHA or the BEVA Approved Veterinary Surgeon (AVS) (see Appendix 11); The term ‘in contact’ relates to any horse that may have become infected as a result of direct or indirect transmission of the disease;
Disinfect all equipment used for breeding procedures;
Inform all owners of mares booked to the stallion, including any which have already left the premises;
Inform people to whom semen from the stallion has been sent;
Inform the national breeders' association;
Arrange for one straw from every ejaculate of stored semen from infected and at risk stallions to be tested by a laboratory. If a straw from any ejaculate is infected, all straws from that ejaculate should be destroyed;
Any at risk pregnant mare must be foaled in isolation. The placenta must be incinerated. Foals born to these mares should be swabbed three times, at intervals of not less than seven days, before three months of age. These swabs should all be tested by aerobic and microaerophilic culture or by PCR test;
- Filly foals: swab the clitoral fossa.
- Colt foals: swab inside the penile sheath and around the tip of the penis.
Remember: in any suspected or confirmed disease situation, the implementation of strict hygienic measures is essential.
In the case of T. equigenitalis, if Defra/APHA or the BEVA Approved Veterinary Surgeon (AVS) do not believe voluntary compliance is sufficient to control infection, Defra will impose statutory requirements.
Swabbing of at-risk/suspect etc horses
Sites to be swabbed (single swabs only required from each site):
• Mares – clitoral fossa, clitoral sinus & endometrium (oestrus)
• Stallions – urethra, urethral fossa & prepuce. A swab of the pre-ejaculatory seminal fluid should also be submitted if possible.
Mares covered by the infected stallion will require at least three sets of screening swabs to be considered infection free.
However, where the risk is believed to be low e.g. other stallions that have not had direct contact, have not shared artificial breeding equipment and mares covered by these stallions but not the infected stallion etc, then a single clearance set of samples from these animals would probably be considered sufficient to give assurance that there had not been any unexpected transmission.