Report: Hyperimmune Plasma Not Effective for R. equi

The administration of hyperimmune plasma to foals is costly, time-consuming, potentially risky, and does not appear to decrease the occurrence of Rhodococcus equi pneumonia, reported Siobhan McAuliffe, MVB, Dipl. ACVIM, head veterinarian of the Stables of King Abdullah & Sons located in Saudi Arabia and colleagues at the 10th International Congress of World Equine Veterinary Association (WEVA).

There was no difference in terms of severity of disease or number of treatment days between the two groups.
Hyperimmune plasma is administered to foals to prevent or control R. equi pneumonia, but evidence supporting the efficacy of this practice is lacking. To further explore this issue, McAuliffe divided foals into one of two groups during the 2005 foaling season. One group of foals was administered hyperimmune plasma on two separate occasions, whereas foals in the second group served as untreated controls.

Forty seven of the 80 foals were positive for R. equi. Twenty-four had been treated with hyperimmune plasma while the remaining 23 were not. Further, there was no difference in terms of severity of disease or number of treatment days between the two groups.

As recommended by the authors in their abstract, alternate management strategies are advisable.

About the Author

Stacey Oke, DVM, MSc

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she's worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

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