Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Research Article
Adv. Anim. Vet. Sci. 7(s2): 169-174
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Abd El Karem Mansour Morsi1, Ibrahim Elsohaby1,2*, Manar Abdelmageed3, Theeb Al- Marri4, Mahmoud Fayez4,5

1Department of Animal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig City, Sharkia Province, Egypt; 2Department of Health Management, Atlantic Veterinary College, University of Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada; 3Department of Pathology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig City, Sharkia Province, Egypt; 4Ministry of Agriculture, Al Ahsa Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Saudi Arabia; 5Veterinary Serum and Vaccine Research institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Cairo, Egypt.

Abstract | Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) is one of the main causes of diarrhea and enterocolitis in horses. The goal of this study was to investigate the prevalence and risk factors associated with C. difficile infections in adult horses and foals with and without diarrhoea. Fresh faecal samples were collected from 407 horses originating from 35 stables in Eastern province, Saudi Arabia. The collected samples were cultured to isolate C. difficile. ELISA was used for detection of C. difficile toxins (A and B). Intestinal and cecal samples were collected from two dead horses for histopathological examination. C. difficile were detected in a total of 24 (5.9%) horses and its toxins were detected in 13 (54%) isolates. Toxigenic C. difficile infections (positive cases) were closely associated with diarrhetic foals than normal adult horses. Furthermore, there was close association between toxigenic C. difficile infections and signs of colic and bloody faeces. The frequency of positive cases was higher in horses under antibiotic therapy than those without treatment. The study concludes that acute colitis in adult horses and diarrhea in foals previously treated with antibiotics is associated C. difficile infection.

Keywords | Clostridium difficile, Horses, Foals, Diarrhea, Risk factors