Towards an understanding of equine pleuropneumonia: Factors relevant for control

D. J. Racklyeft, S. Raidal, D. N. Love

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To review relevant literature on factors associated with the development of equine pleuropneumonia Design: A review of the literature using a range of databases including Current Contents, Medline, ChemAbstracts, Biological Abstracts and CAB and a comprehensive search strategy which involved use of keywords, author and subject category searches. Additional sources included review of articles cited by key accumulated references. Results: Since the early years of this century, many of the "gaps" in our knowledge of the pathogenesis of this disease have been filled. We now know that equine pleuropneumonia results from contamination of the lower respiratory tract with bacteria similar to the normal oropharyngeal microbiota of the horse and that transportation of any mode, especially over long distances (and consequently with no or short rest periods), is the single most important predisposing factor for this disease. This is associated with restraint of horses such that they are unable to lower their heads, which leads to increased opportunity for lower respiratory tract contamination and a reduced opportunity for clearance. Strenuous exercise also results in lower respiratory tract contamination and exercise subsequent to transportation exerts additive detrimental effects on the defenses of the lower respiratory tract. Clinical Implications: While modern veterinary medicine and surgery have significantly reduced the death rate from pleuropneumonia, horses that develop the disease have a high probability of not returning to their prior use. This underscores the importance of developing the most effective strategies for its prevention. Aust Vet J 2000;78:334-338 Keywords: equine pleuropneumonia, transport sickness, shipping fever, anaerobes, lower respiratory tract defenses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-338
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Veterinary Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2000


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