Effective antimicrobial treatment requires careful selection of appropriate drug(s) based, initially, on results from previous cases. Ideally, drug choice is refined, if necessary, based on identification and sensitivity test results from the individual patient. This project was conducted to improve treatment of bacterial infections of horses by documenting the identity and antimicrobial susceptibility of bacteria from horses collected over a 10-year period, in two locations, from samples collected by private practitioners and from equine referral hospital populations.
Poor treatment results have been associated with the development of antimicrobial resistance and this resistance is an important consideration for equine health. Because of our close contact with horses, it is also a direct threat to human health associated with exposure to resistant bacteria. Newer techniques used in medical diagnostic laboratories for more rapid and accurate identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing of bacteria were evaluated to facilitate improved treatment.