Since the first recording of electrocardiograms (ECGs) of a horse in Japan was carried out in 1944, studies on ECGs have been performed intensively. During the early stages of research from the 1950s to 1960s, leads to use for ECG recording were evaluated using several different approaches including unipolar leads, bipolar limb leads, and bipolar chest leads. Based on these studies, the AB lead, which is oriented along the long axis of the heart, became the standard reference method in Japan. Electrodes of the AB lead are placed on the upper 1/4th point along a straight line between the withers and the left shoulder blade (base: B), and 10 cm posterior to the left olecranon (apex: A). The incidence of equine arrhythmias among racehorses has been surveyed, and details of the electrocardiographic characteristics of several arrhythmias have been investigated. In particular, atrial fibrillation (AF) has been extensively studied, and papers have reported findings such as that paroxysmal AF occurs during racing and described electrocardiographic changes that occur at the onset of AF during exercise. Development of a radiotelemetry system for ECG recording enabled the first recording of equine ECGs during galloping in 1964, the detection of arrhythmias, and calculation of heart rate during exercise. Studies on comparative and developmental changes of ECGs have described characteristics of the equine ECGs. Future research on changes in cardiac function, including autonomic function, that occur with aging may lead to new developments in equine electrocardiography and contribute to improving the health and welfare of the horse.
Anti-Müllerian hormone (AMH), a glycoprotein secreted from the fetal testis, is responsible for regression of the Müllerian duct in the male fetus. The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of serum AMH as a biomarker for diagnosis of cryptorchidism in horses. Serum AMH concentrations were measured in intact stallions, hemi-castrated unilateral cryptorchid stallions, and geldings. In addition, expression of AMH was characterized in cryptorchid testes by immunohistochemistry. Serum AMH was detected in intact stallions (n=11, 13.3 ± 1.8 ng/ml) and in hemi-castrated cryptorchid stallions (n=8, 17.6 ± 3.0 ng/ml), but not in geldings (n=6, all data were below the limit of detection). Immunolabeling for AMH was detected in Sertoli cells of undescended testes from cryptorchid horses as well as those of normal testes. Our findings indicate that the cryptorchid testis after hemi-castration secretes AMH and that serum AMH concentrations may be a useful biomarker for diagnosis of equine cryptorchidism.
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%).
Taylorella equigenitalis is a causative bacterium of contagious equine metritis (CEM), and Taylorella asinigenitalis is species belonging to genus Taylorella. The authors developed two loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) methods, Te-LAMP and Ta-LAMP, for detecting T. equigenitalis and T. asinigenitalis, respectively. Using experimentally spiked samples, Te-LAMP was as sensitive as a published semi-nested PCR method, and Ta-LAMP was more sensitive than conventional PCR. Multiplex LAMP worked well without nonspecific reactions, and the analytical sensitivities of multiplex LAMP in the spiked samples were almost equivalent to those of Te-LAMP and Ta-LAMP. Therefore, the LAMP methods are considered useful tools to detect T. equigenitalis and/or T. asinigenitalis, and preventive measures will be rapidly implemented if the occurrence of CEM is confirmed by the LAMP methods.