Reproductive disease turns up new answers

Reproductive disease turns up new answers

Feb 01, 2002
By staff

The bacteria to blame for nocardioform placentitis, a reproductive disease of thoroughbred racehorses that leads to weakened or stillborn foals, can no longer hide, according to new research.

Genetic analysis of the bacterium led scientists to theorize it is a new species in the genus Crossiella, named C. equi. It is also one of the few actinomycetes known to cause animal disease.

Dr. J. Michael Donahue and others at the University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center in Lexington worked in collaboration with Dr. David Labeda of the Agricultural Research Service on the research.

In 2000, 48 U.S. cases were reported, all on central Kentucky farms. The disease is recognized by lesions that vie for nutrients moving across the placenta to the developing fetus from the mare's uterus.

Researchers plan to focus on where and how the bacterium exists in the environment and at what life stage.