Rhodococcus equi is a bacterial pathogen, ubiquitous in the soil, that infects many foals and is lethal to some. Transferrin is an iron-binding protein that has bacteriostatic properties in the blood. Transferrin is also highly polymorphic in most species, with 15 variants identified for horses using biochemical methods, and may be responsible for variation in susceptibility to bacterial pathogens. The objectives of this study were 1) to compare biochemical typing with DNA typing of transferrin, 2) to determine if transferrin DNA from archival paraffin-embedded tissue samples can be recovered and typed with molecular methods, and 3) to determine if there was an association between foal death caused by R. equi and transferrin type. Comparing biochemical methods and DNA sequencing for 41 horses demonstrated correspondence between the typing methods. The allele frequency of archival paraffin-embedded tissue samples from 34 Thoroughbred foals that succumbed to R. equi showed an excess of the F allele and a deficiency of the D allele (P < 0.05). Year of collection (P > 0.8), age of foal (P > 0.3), and sex of foal (P > 0.6) were not statistically associated with transferrin type. The archival material was successfully transferrin typed using DNA sequencing, and there may be an association between foal death caused by R. equi and transferrin type.
|Number of pages||3|
|Journal||Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation|
|State||Published - 2003|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Veterinary (all)