German Stallion Dies from Borreliosis

General or non-medical topics with information and discussion related to Lyme disease and other tick-borne diseases.
RitaA
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German Stallion Dies from Borreliosis

Post by RitaA » Wed 11 Jul 2012 10:44

http://worldofshowjumping.com/news/25-n ... orreliosis
Chacco-Blue died from borreliosis

Tuesday, 10 July 2012 14:46

A month ago the successful stallion Chacco-Blue died suddenly at the Schockemöhle Stable. The German website st-georg.de now reports that an autopsy has been carried through, and it showed that the fourteen year old Chambertin-son died of borreliosis. The Schockemöhle stable explains that they had been treating Chacco-Blue for the borreliosis since the beginning of the year, and that they were sure it was all under control. Unfortuantely that was not the case, and the Schockemöhle stable tragically lost the stallion.
My stepfather's son and his dog were both infected with Lyme disease in the U.S. a few years ago. Unfortunately the dog died as a result of borreliosis in its central nervous system -- as determined by necropsy. Is it becoming more common for animals to die of borrelia infections or have people just become more diligent about determining the cause of death when an animal dies unexpectedly?

Henry
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Re: German Stallion Dies from Borreliosis

Post by Henry » Wed 11 Jul 2012 14:16

Reports such as these should be accepted with much skepticism. Since they are extremely rare, it is possible that the animal happened to have borreliosis, but died of other causes. Dogs that are lame because of borreliosis induced arthritis often recover spontaneously without any antibiotic therapy. Mice, which are natural hosts for Borrelia, develop a disseminated infection; however, they don't die from it.

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inmacdonald
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Re: German Stallion Dies from Borreliosis

Post by inmacdonald » Wed 11 Jul 2012 14:59

German Stallion Dies from Borreliosis:

This is an extremely important case study.

There is international commerce in Horses between the United States, Europe, Mexico, and Argentina,
just to name a few trade partners. My colleagues in Mexico have onlg suspected that
cases of Lyme borreliosis in Mexico might have originated from ticks on Horses Entering Mexico
from European Stock.
We know that Bird migration is an efficient way for ticks to travel fromone habitat to another.
Now we have some better understanding of possible large animals as vehicles for European
tick relocation to new habitats.
The previous literature on borrelia infection is instructive. Equine Borreliosis has been documented
in naive north american horses as far back as the 1990's.

Dr Theobold Smith discussed cattle fatalities in1893 in Texas. Herds of cattle were brought to market
in the Chicago slaughter houses by long cross country cattle drives. ( The Television series Rawhide was based on such south to north cattle drives.)
Dr. Smith not only discovered that the cause of epidemics of cattle death in Texas were due to
tick transmitted infection ( Babesiosis), but he also investigated unexplained clusters of
cattle death in cattle who were reared in the northern states, but were corralled with
Texas cattle in Chicago slaghterhouse pens. Dr Smith traced the cause of these deaths to
Tick transmitted disease from the Texas cattle to the Northern cattle.
You can read much more about the birth of the concept of Tick transmitted disease
and its economic impacts in The Wikipedia bio of Dr Theobald Smith.

Thank you for posing this most interesting report!
Best,
a

Henry
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Re: German Stallion Dies from Borreliosis

Post by Henry » Wed 11 Jul 2012 20:25

Yes, but borreliosis is not a fatal, life-threatening infection in animals or in humans..........

RitaA
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Re: German Stallion Dies from Borreliosis

Post by RitaA » Wed 11 Jul 2012 20:48

Henry wrote:Reports such as these should be accepted with much skepticism. Since they are extremely rare, it is possible that the animal happened to have borreliosis, but died of other causes. Dogs that are lame because of borreliosis induced arthritis often recover spontaneously without any antibiotic therapy. Mice, which are natural hosts for Borrelia, develop a disseminated infection; however, they don't die from it.
Henry,

I also had the distinct impression that animal deaths from borreliosis are quite rare, so I was surprised to read in the following link that renal (i.e. kidney) borreliosis is the second most common syndrome found in dogs, and that this is "generally" fatal for them. I had read elsewhere that dissemination to a dog's kidneys usually meant longer courses of antibiotics and perhaps even other medications, but I wasn't aware of the high mortality rate. All the more reason for preventive measures like tick collars and vaccination when recommended by a vet.

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index ... /50600.htm
The Merck Veterinary Manual

Borreliosis

[snip]

Clinical Findings and Diagnosis:

Numerous clinical syndromes have been seen in domestic animals, including limb and joint disease and neurologic, cardiac, and renal abnormalities. In dogs, lameness, fever, anorexia, lethargy, and lymphadenopathy with or without swollen, painful joints constitute the most common clinical syndrome. Renal, cardiac, and neurologic forms of the disease are characterized by clinical and laboratory abnormalities in the affected systems. Renal borreliosis is the second most common canine syndrome and is generally fatal. It is characterized by uremia, hyperphosphatemia, and severe protein-losing nephropathy, often accompanied by peripheral edema. Conduction abnormality with bradycardia is typical of the rare cardiac form. Facial paralysis and seizure disorders have been reported in the neurologic form.
With an increasing number of animals being exposed to borrelia infections in many parts of the world, we're bound to learn more in the coming years.

RitaA
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Re: German Stallion Dies from Borreliosis

Post by RitaA » Wed 11 Jul 2012 21:04

I do hope the veterinarians for the German stallion publish a case report so other vets can learn from this. The short news item I posted leaves a lot of questions unanswered.

In the meantime, I did a quick tour of the internet to learn a bit about the rates and manifestations of equine borreliosis in a few locations around the world:

http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=18917
The State of Lyme Disease

by: Equine Disease Quarterly
October 04 2011, Article # 18917

Clinical signs associated with equine borreliosis are variable and include shifting leg lameness, myalgia (muscle pain), dermal hypersensitivity, behavior changes, weight loss, uveitis, and neurological signs.

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/ar ... 2106000051
Survey on the subject of equine Lyme borreliosis

Yvonne Gall
Kurt Pfister
Institute of Comparative Tropical Medicine and Parasitology, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Leopoldstr. 5, D-80802 Munich, Germany

Available online 9 March 2006.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmm.2006.01.004,

Abstract
According to the results of a questionnaire on equine Lyme borreliosis addressing veterinarians in Germany, the existence of the disease was confirmed by more than half of the 118 participants. Practitioners who regarded Borrelia burgdorferi as a pathogen of horses seemed to be more sensitized in terms of the number of annually diagnosed cases as well as the frequency of occurrence of tick infestation with equine patients or prophylactical treatments against ectoparasites by horse owners. Chronically poor performance and diverse orthopaedic problems were the clinical symptoms most often leading to a Lyme borreliosis suspicion. The tentative diagnoses were predominantly confirmed by serology. Antibiotics (and anti-inflammatory agents) were mainly used for therapy. Whereas horse owners repeatedly asked for examination of their horses, and some veterinarians asserted equine Lyme borreliosis to be an underestimated problem in the horse population, others stated the disease was often enough misdiagnosed.
http://www.thejaps.org.pk/docs/21(1)201 ... ALENCE.pdf
The Journal of Animal & Plant Sciences, 21(1): 2011, Page: 8-11
ISSN: 1018-7081

SEROPREVALENCE OF BORRELIA BURGDORFERI IN HORSES IN MINNESOTA

A. Z. Durrani and S. M. Goyal*

Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, Pakistan.
*College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA

ABSTRACT

To determine the seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi in horses in Minnesota, the database of the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, University of Minnesota, was searched over a ten year period (2001- May 2010). A total of 1,260 equine serum samples submitted by 112 veterinary clinics were tested using an indirect fluorescent antibody test. Samples with titers of >1:320 were considered positive. The average rate of seroprevalence was 58.7% indicating high exposure of horses to B. burgdorferi in Minnesota. Our results indicate that Borreliosis should be considered as a differential in cases of horses with undiagnosed musculoskeletal or neurologic disease.

[snip]

Only 10% of the seropositive horses are reported to develop clinical signs (Bushmick, 1994) including lameness with or without joint swelling (Post, 1990). Less frequently, laminitis, uveitis, abortion, weight loss, encephalitis, foal mortality, neurological signs and blindness have been reported as a consequence of Lyme disease (Egenvall et al., 2001). Clinical diagnosis is particularly difficult in horses because lameness can also occur as a part of other musculoskeletal disorders (Madigan, 1993). This retrospective study was conducted to determine the serological prevalence of B. burgdorferi in Minnesota horses.
Here’s the Engenvall article referred to above:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11311953
Prev Vet Med. 2001 May 1;49(3-4):191-208.

Cross-sectional study of the seroprevalence to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and granulocytic Ehrlichia spp. and demographic, clinical and tick-exposure factors in Swedish horses.

Egenvall A, Franzén P, Gunnarsson A, Engvall EO, Vågsholm I, Wikström UB, Artursson K.
Source
Department of Ruminant Medicine and Veterinary Epidemiology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, P.O. Box 7019, SE-75007 Uppsala, Sweden. agneta.egenvall@kirmed.slu.se

Abstract
A cross-sectional study of the seroprevalence to Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and granulocytic Ehrlichia spp. in Swedish horses was conducted to evaluate associations with demographic, clinical and tick-exposure factors. From September 1997-1998, blood samples from 2018 horses were collected from the animals presented to veterinary clinics affiliated with the Swedish Horserace Totalizator Board (regardless of the primary cause for consultation). Standardized questionnaires with information both from owners and attending veterinarians accompanied each blood sample. The apparent seroprevalences to B. burgdorferi s. l. and granulocytic Ehrlichia spp. were 16.8 and 16.7%, respectively. The northern region had the lowest seroprevalences. Four logistic models were developed (controlling for demographic variables). In the disease model of seropositivity to B. burgdorferi s. l., age, breed, geographic region, the serologic titer to granulocytic Ehrlichia spp., season and the diagnosis coffin-joint arthritis were significant. In the tick-exposure model of B. burgdorferi s. l., pasture access the previous year and gender were significant. Age, racing activity, geographic region, season and the serologic titer to B. burgdorferi s. l. were associated with positivity to granulocytic Ehrlichia spp. In the tick-exposure model of granulocytic Ehrlichia spp., pasture access was a risk factor. An interaction between racing activity and geographic region showed that the risk of positive serologic reactions to Ehrlichia spp. was increased in the horse population in the south and middle of Sweden, but only among horses not used for racing. Except for the positive association between coffin-joint arthritis and serologic reactions to B. burgdorferi s. l., there were no significant associations in the multivariable models between non-specific or specific clinical sign or disease with seropositivity to either of these agents.

PMID:
11311953
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
The Engenvall et al article was also cited by these Danish researchers:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20082693
Acta Vet Scand. 2010 Jan 18;52:3.

Seroprevalence of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Anaplasma phagocytophilum in Danish horses.

Hansen MG, Christoffersen M, Thuesen LR, Petersen MR, Bojesen AM.
Source
Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Stigbøjlen 4, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.

Erratum in
Acta Vet Scand. 2010;52:49.

Abstract
BACKGROUND:
Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato and Anaplasma phagocytophilum are able to infect horses. However, the extend to which Danish horses are infected and seroconvert due to these two bacteria is unknown. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the seroprevalence of B. burgdorferi sensu lato and A. phagocytophilum in Danish horses.

METHODS:
A total of 390 blood samples collected from all major regions of Denmark and with a geographical distribution corresponding to the density of the Danish horse population were analyzed. All samples were examined for the presence of antibodies against B. burgdorferi sensu lato and A. phagocytophilum by the use of the SNAP 4DX ELISA test.

RESULTS:
Overall, 29.0% of the horses were seropositive for B. burgdorferi sensu lato whereas 22.3% were seropositive for A. phagocytophilum.

CONCLUSIONS:
Antibodies against B burgdorferi sensu lato and A. phagocytophilum are commonly found among Danish horses thus showing that Danish horses are frequently infected by these organisms.

PMID:
20082693
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2818635
Free PMC Article
This is the part I was looking for in the full article:
The seroprevalence of B. burgdorferi s. l. and A. phagocytophilum among horses in Denmark has to our knowledge never been evaluated. Recent European studies on the seroprevalence of B. burgdorferi s. l. shows a prevalence of 47.8% seropositive horses in Slovakia [11], 25.6% in Poland [12], 16.8% in Sweden [13], 16.1% in Germany [14] and 6.3% in Turkey [15]. The seroprevalence of A. phagocytophilum in Europe varies from 83.3% in Holland [6], 16.7% in Sweden [13], 11.3% in France [16], 8.1% in Italy [17,18] to 6.5% in Spain [19]. Furthermore, a Swedish study reported that 4.5% of the examined horses were seropositive for both B. burgdorferi s. l. and A. phagocytophilum [13]. In 2005, Danish researchers made a seroprevalence study on the distribution of B. burgdorferi s. l. and A. phagocytophilum antibodies in Danish deer. The overall seroprevalence was 36.6% for B. burgdorferi s. l.

Henry
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Re: German Stallion Dies from Borreliosis

Post by Henry » Wed 11 Jul 2012 21:49

RitaA: I have been told that some dogs develop immune complexes in the kidney in response to the canine Lyme disease vaccine (there is a warning on the label about this) and leptospira infections. Although this is not a common finding, it can result in kidney failure in some cases. I don't know why this occurs. In the absence of confirmed serology and culture positivity, the mere presence of spirochetes could mean either borreliosis or leptospirosis which is also quite common in parts of the U.S.

RitaA
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Re: German Stallion Dies from Borreliosis

Post by RitaA » Wed 11 Jul 2012 22:17

Henry,

There are so many possibilities that's it's truly mind boggling for me at times. I think co-infections (and not necessarily tick-borne ones) may complicate matters for animals and humans alike.

Some vets wholeheartedly recommend vaccination for dogs in Lyme disease endemic areas, whereas others are more cautious -- possibly for the very reason you mentioned.

My younger brother (who currently lives in the county with the highest per capita rate of LD in the U.S.) rushed his dog to the vet the first time someone in the family discovered a tick on him. My brother wasn't taking any chances, and I don't really blame him, but the clinic staff did have a good laugh over his near panic. The pooch has since been vaccinated -- with no untoward side effects, and he remains completely healthy (knock on wood).

I know very little about immune complexes, but I do think it's a fascinating topic in general. I remain grateful to all researchers who are able and willing to help unravel some of these biological mysteries.

X-member
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Re: German Stallion Dies from Borreliosis

Post by X-member » Wed 11 Jul 2012 22:40

Henry wrote (earlier):
Yes, but borreliosis is not a fatal, life-threatening infection in animals or in humans..........
This you have claimed before, Henry and then I gave you some information in the topic below:

http://www.lymeneteurope.org/forum/view ... ied#p25609

A quote:
Rock Star Torbjörn Abelli became paralyzed and was taken to hospital.
But doctors could only watch as Borrelia took his life.
I also have an article about a 16 year old Swedish boy that died from late borreliosis, if you still think that borreliosis can not fatal in humans.

Henry
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Re: German Stallion Dies from Borreliosis

Post by Henry » Thu 12 Jul 2012 2:09

Carina: Recently, the CDC published the results of a very detailed analysis of death certificates and found no evidence that Lyme disease is a life threatening, fatal disease. People that have Lyme disease as part of their medical history die of other causes, not Lyme disease. I can provide a reference if you want to see it.

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