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United States' Contagious Equine Metritis Investigation Winding Down

Published: October 1, 2009 12:24 pm ET

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According to an article last week on, the investigation into the outbreak of Contagious Equine Metritis south of the border may be 'winding down.'

The report states that -- up until September 24 -- testing and treatment had been completed for 91.2% of the 715 exposed mares and 77.7% of the 274 exposed stallions. The investigation began in mid-December 2008, when a Quarter Horse stallion on a Kentucky farm tested positive during routine screening for international semen shipment.

A total of five positive mares and 22 positive stallions had been identified during the course of the investigation. All positive horses, and all exposed horses that had not yet completed testing and treatment protocols, remained under quarantine or hold order.

Contagious equine metritis is a transmissible, exotic venereal disease in horses. It usually results in infertility in mares and, on rare occasions, can cause mares to spontaneously abort. Infected stallions exhibit no clinical signs but can carry the CEM bacteria for years. CEM is commonly transmitted during sexual intercourse but also might be transmitted indirectly through artificial insemination or contact with contaminated hands or objects. It can be treated with disinfectants and antibiotics.

(With files from

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