The Incidence ofAeromonasSpecies in the Feces of Nondiarrheic Horses

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Abstract

Aeromonas species have been isolated from the feces of diarrheic adult horses and foals. However, Aeromonas species have also been isolated from the feces of approximately 5% of clinically normal adult horses outside the United States. The objectives of this study were to determine whether Aeromonas species can be shed in the feces of nondiarrheic adult horses and identify any effects of season of year, transportation, and hospitalization on possible fecal shedding of Aeromonas species. Feces were cultured for Aeromonas and Salmonella species from 138 nondiarrheic adult horses examined in the hospital and by field services for complaints other than gastrointestinal disease. Fecal Aeromonas and Salmonella species were isolated from 6.5% and 2.2% of nondiarrheic horses, respectively. All Aeromonas isolates were identified as A caviae. There were no apparent effects on time of year, hospitalization, or transport on isolation of Aeromonas species from feces. Isolation of Aeromonas species from diarrheic horses in the absence of other possible enteric pathogens indicates intestinal disease as a result of Aeromonas infection, but Aeromonas species can also occur as copathogens with Salmonella infections.

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