Rhodococcus equi infection in foals: the science of ‘rattles’
Article first published online: 5 JAN 2010
2007 EVJ Ltd
Equine Veterinary Journal
Volume 39, Issue 5, pages 470–478, September 2007
How to Cite
MUSCATELLO, G., LEADON, D. P., KLAY, M., OCAMPO-SOSA, A., LEWIS, D. A., FOGARTY, U., BUCKLEY, T., GILKERSON, J. R., MEIJER, W. G. and VAZQUEZ-BOLAND, J. A. (2007), Rhodococcus equi infection in foals: the science of ‘rattles’. Equine Veterinary Journal, 39: 470–478. doi: 10.2746/042516407X209217
- Issue published online: 5 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 5 JAN 2010
- Paper received for publication 02.04.07; Accepted 30.04.07
Infection with Rhodococcus (Corynebacterium) equi is a well-recognised condition in foals that represents a consistent and serious risk worldwide. The condition manifests itself primarily as one of pulmonary abscessation and bronchitis, hence the terminology of ‘rattles’ derived from its most obvious clinical sign, frequently terminal when first identified.
This review addresses the clinical manifestation, bacteriology and pathogenesis of the condition together with recent developments providing knowledge of the organism in terms of virulence, epidemiology, transmission and immune responses.
Enhanced understanding of R. equi virulence mechanisms and biology derived from the recently available genome sequence may facilitate the rational development of a vaccine and the improvement of farm management practices used to control R. equi on stud farms in the future. Reliance on vaccines alone, in the absence of management strategies to control the on-farm challenge is likely to be disappointing.