ABSTRACT: Objective-To determine whether the concentration of airborne virulent Rhodococcus equi varied by location (stall vs paddock) and month on horse farms. Sample-Air samples from stalls and paddocks used to house mares and foals on 30 horse breeding farms in central Kentucky. Procedures-Air samples from 1 stall and 1 paddock were obtained monthly from each farm from January through June 2009. Concentrations of airborne virulent R equi were determined via a modified colony immunoblot assay. Random-effects logistic regression was used to determine the association of the presence of airborne virulent R equi with location from which air samples were obtained and month during which samples were collected. Results-Of 180 air samples, virulent R equi was identified in 49 (27%) and 13 (7%) obtained from stalls and paddocks, respectively. The OR of detecting virulent R equi in air samples from stalls versus paddocks was 5.2 (95% confidence interval, 2.1 to 13.1). Of 60 air samples, virulent R equi was identified in 25 (42%), 18 (30%), and 6 (10%) obtained from stalls during January and February, March and April, and May and June, respectively. The OR of detecting virulent R equi from stall air samples collected during May and June versus January and February was 0.22 (95% confidence interval, 0.08 to 0.63). Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Foals were more likely to be exposed to airborne virulent R equi when housed in stalls versus paddocks and earlier (January and February) versus later (May and June) during the foaling season.
American Journal of Veterinary Research 10/2012; 73(10):1603-9. · 1.27 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To determine whether airborne concentrations of virulent Rhodococcus equi at 2 horse breeding farms varied on the basis of location, time of day, and month.
2 farms in central Kentucky with recurrent R equi-induced pneumonia in foals.
From February through July 2008, air samples were collected hourly for a 24-hour period each month from stalls and paddocks used to house mares and their foals. Concentrations of airborne virulent R equi were determined via a modified colony immunoblot technique. Differences were compared by use of zero-inflated negative binomial methods to determine effects of location, time, and month.
Whether mares and foals were housed predominantly in stalls or paddocks significantly affected results for location of sample collection (stall vs paddock) by increasing airborne concentrations of virulent R equi at the site where horses were predominantly housed. Airborne concentrations of virulent R equi were significantly higher from 6:00 pm through 11:59 pm than for the period from midnight through 5:59 am. Airborne concentrations of virulent R equi did not differ significantly between farms or among months.
Airborne concentrations of virulent R equi were significantly increased when horses were predominantly housed at the site for collection of air samples (ie, higher in stalls when horses were predominantly housed in stalls and higher in paddocks when horses were predominantly housed in paddocks). Concentrations of virulent R equi among air samples collected between the hours of 6:00 am and midnight appeared similar.
American Journal of Veterinary Research 01/2011; 72(1):73-9. · 1.27 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To develop an early-warning automated surveillance-data-analysis system for early outbreak detection and reporting and to assess its performance on an abortion outbreak in mares in Kentucky.
426 data sets of abortions in mares in Kentucky during December 2000 to July 2001.
A custom software system was developed to automatically extract and analyze data from a Laboratory Information Management System database. The software system was tested on data on abortions in mares in Kentucky reported between December 1, 2000, and July 31, 2001. The prospective space-time permutations scan statistic, proposed by Kulldorff, was used to detect and identify abortion outbreak signals.
Results indicated that use of the system would have detected the abortion outbreak approximately 1 week earlier than traditional surveillance systems. However, the geographic scale of analysis was critical for highest sensitivity in outbreak detection. Use of the lower geographic scale of analysis (ie, postal [zip code]) enhanced earlier detection of significant clusters, compared with use of the higher geographic scale (ie, county).
The automated surveillance-data-analysis system would be useful in early detection of endemic, emerging, and foreign animal disease outbreaks and might help in detection of a bioterrorist attack. Manual analyses of such a large number of data sets (ie, 426) with a computationally intensive algorithm would be impractical toward the goal of achieving near real-time surveillance. Use of this early-warning system would facilitate early interventions that should result in more positive health outcomes.
American Journal of Veterinary Research 03/2009; 70(2):247-56. · 1.27 Impact Factor
ABSTRACT: To determine whether soil concentrations of total or virulent Rhodococcus equi differed among breeding farms with and without foals with pneumonia caused by R equi.
37 farms in central Kentucky. Procedures-During January, March, and July 2006, the total concentration of R equi and concentration of virulent R equi were determined by use of quantitative bacteriologic culture and a colony immunoblot technique, respectively, in soil specimens obtained from farms. Differences in concentrations and proportion of virulent isolates within and among time points were compared among farms.
Soil concentrations of total or virulent R equi did not vary among farms at any time point. Virulent R equi were identified in soil samples from all farms. Greater density of mares and foals was significantly associated with farms having foals with pneumonia attributable to R equi. Among farms with affected foals, there was a significant association of increased incidence of pneumonia attributable to R equi with an increase in the proportion of virulent bacteria between samples collected in March and July.
Results indicated that virulent R equi were commonly recovered from soil of horse breeding farms in central Kentucky, regardless of the status of foals with pneumonia attributable to R equi on each farm. The incidence of foals with pneumonia attributable to R equi can be expected to be higher at farms with a greater density of mares and foals.
American Journal of Veterinary Research 04/2008; 69(3):385-95. · 1.27 Impact Factor