Streptococcus equi meningoencephalomyelitis in a foal

Carrie J Finno, Nicola Pusterla, Monica R Aleman, Frederick C Mohr, Teena Price, Jeanne George, Tara Holmberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Case Description - A 4-month-old American Paint Horse colt was evaluated because of acute onset of ataxia, left-sided head tilt, and fever and a recently noticed heart murmur. Upper respiratory tract infection caused by Streptococcus equi subsp equi had been diagnosed at 3 months of age. Clinical Findings - Hematologic abnormalities included leukocytosis, mature neutrophilia, monocytosis, and mild anemia. Analysis of a CSF sample revealed high total protein concentration and total nucleated cell count; nucleated cells consisted mainly of degenerate neutrophils. Results of a real-time PCR assay were positive for S equi subsp equi, and a diagnosis of S equi subsp equi meningoencephalomyelitis was made. Treatment and Outcome - Treatment included administration of potassium penicillin and fluids, but the foal developed uroperitoneum and was subsequently euthanized. Postmortem examination revealed meningoencephalomyelitis, and S equi subsp equi was cultured from a brain aspirate. Additional findings included suppurative cystitis with rupture and neutrophilic myocarditis. Clinical Relevance - Findings suggest that S equi subsp equi meningoencephalomyelitis should be considered in the differential diagnosis for foals with neurologic signs that have a history of strangles or exposure to affected horses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)721-724
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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