I Will Survive: Strangles Bacteria Viable Much Longer Than Originally Thought

Scary news from British researchers should have horse people on high alert: A research team has discovered that the bacteria that causes strangles can survive in the environment for up to 34 days.

Infected horses can “shed” the bacteria, even when not showing signs of the disease; the bacteria can survive for significant lengths of time in the environment. Research into the viability of the bacteria is important for isolation and biosecurity protocols.

Streptococcus equi is the bacteria responsible for strangles, which can present as fever, depression, nasal discharge and abscesses in horses (among other signs). Educated equestrians know to quarantine infected horses and put biosecurity measures in place, but until now it has not been understood for how long the bacteria can remain viable.

Researchers used a dental rasp, a wet plastic bucket, a fence post and the interior of a nasogastric tube to test how long the bacteria could survive. It was found that the bacteria thrived in wet, humid and cold conditions; bacteria survival was shortest in hot, dry areas. The samples were kept out of direct sunlight and were tested until no viable bacteria could be found.

S. equi was found to be viable for up to 34 days in a wet bucket in the winter. The most bacteria growth was seen in the nasogastic tube, which produced viable bacteria for 21 days in winter.

The researchers concluded that strangles bacteria may remain viable far longer than was previously believed; this should be kept in mind when formulating control strategies.

Read more at HorseTalk.

The post I Will Survive: Strangles Bacteria Viable Much Longer Than Originally Thought appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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