Background: Inflammatory myopathy and perivasculitis have been recently described in horses with chronic equine piroplasmosis (EP). These alterations may be linked to poor performances. The aims of this study were to evaluate the prevalence for EP in clinically healthy Italian Standardbred (IS) racehorses and to compare laboratory parameters and performance metrics between positive and negative horses. Real-time PCR was applied for the detection of T. equi and B. caballi positivity. Haematology parameters, blood chemistry results, subjective muscle mass scores, and performance metrics were compared between PCR-positive and -negative horses. Results: This cross-sectional study included 120 well-trained IS racehorses and was performed over a two-years period. The prevalence of T. equi was 36.3%, whereas all samples were negative for B. caballi. Red blood cells count, haemoglobin concentration, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma-glutamyl transferase activities were significantly higher in PCR-positive horses, whereas blood urea nitrogen, globulin concentration and globulin-to-albumin ratio were significantly lower in PCR-positive horses compared to PCR-negative ones. Nonetheless, all values fell within the physiological range. The best racing time, which was selected as the most representative of the performance metrics at the principal component analysis, was not affected by PCR positivity, the muscle mass score or the training yard. The best racing time was significantly better in horses with a mild or no signs of muscular atrophy, within the PCR-positive group. The muscle mass score was associated with the training yard in PCR-negative horses. Conclusions: Prevalence of T. equi was high in IS racehorses in southern Italy. The absence of obvious changes in haematological and biochemical parameters, as well as performance metrics in positive horses, highlights the need for specific diagnostic tests to identify chronically infected horses.

A cross-sectional study on performance evaluation in Italian standardbred horses’ real-time PCR-positive for Theileria equi / P. Coluccia, M. Gizzarelli, M.T. Scicluna, G. Manna, V. Foglia Manzillo, F. Buono, L. Auletta, V. Palumbo, M.P. Pasolini. - In: BMC VETERINARY RESEARCH. - ISSN 1746-6148. - 20:1(2024 Mar 05), pp. 79.1-79.11. [10.1186/s12917-024-03908-0]

A cross-sectional study on performance evaluation in Italian standardbred horses’ real-time PCR-positive for Theileria equi

L. Auletta
;
2024

Abstract

Background: Inflammatory myopathy and perivasculitis have been recently described in horses with chronic equine piroplasmosis (EP). These alterations may be linked to poor performances. The aims of this study were to evaluate the prevalence for EP in clinically healthy Italian Standardbred (IS) racehorses and to compare laboratory parameters and performance metrics between positive and negative horses. Real-time PCR was applied for the detection of T. equi and B. caballi positivity. Haematology parameters, blood chemistry results, subjective muscle mass scores, and performance metrics were compared between PCR-positive and -negative horses. Results: This cross-sectional study included 120 well-trained IS racehorses and was performed over a two-years period. The prevalence of T. equi was 36.3%, whereas all samples were negative for B. caballi. Red blood cells count, haemoglobin concentration, aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and gamma-glutamyl transferase activities were significantly higher in PCR-positive horses, whereas blood urea nitrogen, globulin concentration and globulin-to-albumin ratio were significantly lower in PCR-positive horses compared to PCR-negative ones. Nonetheless, all values fell within the physiological range. The best racing time, which was selected as the most representative of the performance metrics at the principal component analysis, was not affected by PCR positivity, the muscle mass score or the training yard. The best racing time was significantly better in horses with a mild or no signs of muscular atrophy, within the PCR-positive group. The muscle mass score was associated with the training yard in PCR-negative horses. Conclusions: Prevalence of T. equi was high in IS racehorses in southern Italy. The absence of obvious changes in haematological and biochemical parameters, as well as performance metrics in positive horses, highlights the need for specific diagnostic tests to identify chronically infected horses.
Chronic equine piroplasmosis; Haematology; Italian Standardbred horses; Performances; Real-time PCR; Theileria equi
Settore VET/09 - Clinica Chirurgica Veterinaria
5-mar-2024
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/1035988
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