ANAPLASMOSIS : THE NEGLECTED DIAGNOSIS
EQUINE FEVER SYNDROMES
Babesia caballi and Theileria equi are protozoan parasites that cause equine piroplasmosis.They are transmitted principally through the saliva of infected ticks to a horse during blood feeding by hard ticks such as Dermacentor, Ixodes, and Rhicicephalus.
Clinical manifestations of piroplasmosis include fever and anemia. Horses infected by Anaplasma phagocytophilum often show symptoms similar to piroplasmosis and the diagnosis of anaplasmosis is often ignored. Therefore, analysis of the blood is necessary for accurate diagnosis.
Acute forms of these diseases could result in the death of the horse in less than 72 hours, and thus an accurate diagnosis followed by an appropriate treatment is essential.
STANDARD DIAGNOSTIC PROTOCOL
During the acute phase of infection, equine fever syndromes could be diagnosed through the use of the following methods:
Serological tests (conducted 2 weeks after infection to verify seroconversion)
- Through indirect immunofluorescence
- Through complement fixation test
- Through ELISA
Direct tests : Identification of the pathogen or its genome
- Through blood smear (low sensitivity due to low parasite load)
- Through PCR
For an optimal efficiency, it is recommended to use several methods that are complementary to each
WITH EPONA : A RAPID AND SENSITIVE DIAGNOSIS
Epona tests are molecular tests that detect the DNA of the pathogen directly and can be used at the very beginning of infection,
even before symptoms appear. The sensitivity of Epona tests are equivalent to that of PCR and test results can be obtained in 30 minutes.
RANDOM TREATMENT WITH IMIDOCARB DIPROPIONATE/ FALSE PROMISES!
Imidocarb dipropionate is a medication not approved for use in equines by regulation agencies. Its administration in a horse can have grave side effects including spasms, abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea. In severe cases it can result in the death of the animal. This medication should only be used when the diagnosis of piroplasmosis is made with utmost certainty.
Anaplasmosis is often under-diagnosed and should be treated with antibiotics instead of imidocarb dipropionate. Therefore it is crucial to differentiate anaplasmosis from piroplasmosis during diagnosis.
HOW TO PREVENT EQUINE FEVER SYNDROMES?
There are currently no vaccines against piroplasmosis or anaplasmosis. Hereare a few suggestions that may be helpful in reducing the occurrence of these
- Applying miticides diluted in water to the back of the animal to prevent tick bite. Care should be taken to not exceed recommended dose or frequency to avoid drug-resistance.
- Removing the tick from the animal as soon as possible with the help of proper tools and placing the animal under surveillance for several days.
- Trimming the excessively tall grass surrounding the stables.