Equine proliferative enteropathy caused by Lawsonia intracellularis

Authors

  • N. Pusterla,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, California 95616
    Search for more papers by this author
  • C. Gebhart

    1. Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine, St Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA.
    Search for more papers by this author

*Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, California 95616

Summary

Equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE) is a disease of foals caused by the obligate intracellular organism Lawsonia intracellularis. This emerging disease affects mainly weanling foals and causes fever, lethargy, peripheral oedema, diarrhoea, colic and weight loss. The diagnosis of EPE may be challenging and relies on the presence of hypoproteinaemia, thickening of segments of the small intestinal wall observed on abdominal ultrasonography, positive serology and molecular detection of L. intracellularis in faeces. Although the clinical entity, diagnostic work-up and treatment of EPE are well established and described, the epidemiology for this disease has remained largely unaddressed. This article reviews the aetiology, epidemiology, clinical signs, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of EPE.

Ancillary