Retrospective Evaluation of Horses Diagnosed with Neuroborreliosis

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Retrospective Evaluation of Horses Diagnosed with Neuroborreliosis

Post by RitaA » Sun 14 Aug 2016 15:48
J Vet Intern Med. 2016 Jul;30(4):1305-12. doi: 10.1111/jvim.14369. Epub 2016 Jun 21.

Retrospective Evaluation of Horses Diagnosed with Neuroborreliosis on Postmortem Examination: 16 Cases (2004-2015).

Johnstone LK1, Engiles JB1, Aceto H1, Buechner-Maxwell V2, Divers T3, Gardner R4, Levine R5, Scherrer N1, Tewari D6, Tomlinson J3, Johnson AL1.

Author information

1 University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, New Bolton Center, Kennett Square, PA.
2 Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, Blacksburg, VA.
3 Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, Ithaca, NY.
4 B.W. Furlong & Associates, Oldwick, NJ.
5 Henderson Veterinary Associates, Elizabethtown, PA.
6 Pennsylvania Veterinary Laboratory, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Harrisburg, PA.



Equine neuroborreliosis (NB), Lyme disease, is difficult to diagnose and has limited description in the literature.


Provide a detailed description of clinical signs, diagnostic, and pathologic findings of horses with NB.


Sixteen horses with histologically confirmed NB.


Retrospective review of medical records at the University of Pennsylvania and via an ACVIM listserv query with inclusion criteria requiring possible exposure to Borrelia burgdorferi and histologic findings consistent with previous reports of NB without evidence of other disease.


Sixteen horses were identified, 12 of which had additional evidence of NB. Clinical signs were variable including muscle atrophy or weight loss (12), cranial nerve deficits (11), ataxia (10), changes in behavior (9), dysphagia (7), fasciculations (6), neck stiffness (6), episodic respiratory distress (5), uveitis (5), fever (2), joint effusion (2), and cardiac arrhythmias (1). Serologic analysis was positive for B. burgdorferi infection in 6/13 cases tested. CSF abnormalities were present in 8/13 cases tested, including xanthochromia (4/13), increased total protein (5/13; median: 91 mg/dL, range: 25-219 mg/dL), and a neutrophilic (6/13) or lymphocytic (2/13) pleocytosis (median: 25 nucleated cells/μL, range: 0-922 nucleated cells/μL). PCR on CSF for B. burgdorferi was negative in the 7 cases that were tested.


Diagnosis of equine NB is challenging due to variable clinical presentation and lack of sensitive and specific diagnostic tests. Negative serology and normal CSF analysis do not exclude the diagnosis of NB.

Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.

Ataxia; Borrelia; Equine; Lyme disease; Meningitis

PMID: 27327172 DOI: 10.1111/jvim.14369
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Re: Retrospective Evaluation of Horses Diagnosed with Neuroborreliosis

Post by Lorima » Wed 17 Aug 2016 15:32

Very interesting!
"I have to understand the world, you see."
Richard Feynman

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