2015 Volume 26 Issue 1 Pages 21-24
The present study was conducted to determine the prevalence of Rhodococcus equi infection in equines of Jammu and Kashmir, India, and evaluate the zoonotic threat posed by this organism to equine owners and tourists. One hundred and forty-one samples (98 samples from adult animals ≥5 years old and 43 samples from foals less than 6 months old) were collected in duplicate from nasopharyngeal tract of equines for isolation and direct PCR. A total of 12 isolates of R. equi were recovered, of which 9 were from foals and 3 from adult animals. Therefore, the present study recorded prevalence rates of 20.93% and 3.06% among foals and adult equines respectively. The prevalence rates were found to be 25.58% and 4.08% by 16S rRNA species-specific PCR among foals and adult animals respectively. Thus, the PCR-based assay was found to be more sensitive and helped in quick detection of R. equi than the culture based method which is time consuming and laborious. However, the culture-based method is still preferred due to some limitations of PCR. The antibiogram of the isolates revealed that erythromycin and rifampicin were the most effective antimicrobials with 100% sensitivity, followed by amoxicillin (66.67%), lincomycin (58.3%) and kanamycin (58.3%). The results also revealed that resistance was highest for penicillin G (50%), followed by kanamycin (25%) and streptomycin (25%).