Development and Use of an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay to Determine Temporal Exposure Patterns to Putative Agents of Nocardioform Placentitis

Allen E Page, Emma Partridge, Erdal Erol, Kirsten E Scoggin, Carleigh E Fedorka, Rebecca E Ruby, Barry A Ball, David W Horohov, Emma Adam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cases of nocardioform placentitis are characterized by focal, mucoid placentitis resulting in late-term abortion, premature birth, or small, full-term foals, occur sporadically, and are most commonly associated with Crossiella equi and Amycolatopsis spp. infection. The goal of this project was to develop an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for quantifying antibodies against Crossiella equi and Amycolatopsis spp. and utilize the ELISA to determine when exposure occurs. Serum samples collected during the 2020 foaling season from Crossiella equi (n = 8) and Amycolatopsis spp. (n = 32) infected mares, as well as nonaffected mares (n = 51 mares), were used to develop and optimize bacteria-specific ELISAs. Following development of the ELISAs, banked serum samples from a single, central Kentucky Thoroughbred farm collected during 2012 to 2013 (n = 104 mares) and 2013-14 (n = 82 mares) were analyzed. Differences in various groups were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Crossiella equi-infected mares had significantly higher ELISA unit (EU) values on the Crossiella equi ELISA near parturition when compared to the other two groups (P < .001). Using the Amycolatopsis spp. ELISA, EU values were not significantly different between Amycolatopsis spp. infected and non-affected mares, suggesting this ELISA is not specific for Amycolatopsis spp. During 2013 to 2014, there were significant increases in EU values between June and late September for the Crossiella equi ELISA, suggesting exposure in the summer and early fall months. Data from the Crossiella equi ELISA may help provide a better understanding of the epidemiology of nocardioform placentitis, guide the development of a successful experimental challenge model, and allow for further refinement of these ELISAs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103826
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
StateE-pub ahead of print - Nov 26 2021

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Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.


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