Relationship of mixed bacterial infection to prognosis in foals with pneumonia caused by Rhodococcus equi. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: Isolation of multiple bacterial species is common in foals with Rhodococcus equi pneumonia. HYPOTHESIS: There is no association between isolation of other microorganisms and outcome. ANIMALS: 155 foals with pneumonia caused by R. equi. METHODS: Case records of foals diagnosed with R. equi pneumonia based on culture of the respiratory tract were reviewed at 2 referral hospitals (University of Florida [UF] and Texas A&M University [TAMU]). RESULTS: R. equi was cultured from a tracheobronchial aspirate (TBA) in 115 foals and from lung tissue in 38 foals. Survival was significantly higher at UF (71%; 70/99) than at TAMU (50%; 28/56). R. equi was significantly more likely to grow in pure cultures from samples obtained from foals at UF (55%; 54/99) than from foals at TAMU (23%; 13/56). Microorganisms cultured with R. equi included Gram-positive bacteria in 40, Gram-negative bacteria in 41, and fungi in 23 foals. The most common bacteria isolated were beta-hemolytic streptococci (n = 26) and Escherichia coli (n = 18). Mixed infections were significantly more likely to be encountered in TBA than in lung tissue. Only foals from which R. equi was cultured from a TBA were included in the analysis for association between mixed infection and outcome. After adjusting for the effect of hospital using multivariate logistic regression, mixed culture, mixed bacterial culture, Gram-positive bacteria, beta-hemolytic streptococci, Gram-negative bacteria, enteric Gram-negative bacteria, nonenteric Gram-negative bacteria, and fungi were not significantly associated with outcome. CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL IMPORTANCE: Isolation of multiple bacteria or fungi from a TBA along with R. equi does not negatively impact prognosis.

published proceedings

  • J Vet Intern Med

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Gigure, S., Jordan, L., Glass, K., & Cohen, N. D.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Giguère, S||Jordan, LMI||Glass, K||Cohen, ND

publication date

  • November 2012