Equine reproductive loss due to infectious agents impacts significantly on Australian Thoroughbred breeders. While a range of bacterial agents are a recognized cause of equine abortion, Chlamydia psittaci has emerged as a cause of reproductive loss as well as zoonotic disease of veterinarians and stud workers. Recent work has confirmed that prevalence rates of C. psittaciinfected equine pregnancy losses were higher than were originally considered and not limited to New South Wales, suggesting that this problem may be widespread and not just a recent phenomenon. While molecular methods have pointed to contact with birds as a key part of this issue little else is known about equine chlamydiosis, challenging any efforts to reduce the risk to animal and human health. In this project, we aim to reduce pregnancy losses in Australia’s thoroughbred industry by revealing basic information on the epidemiology of this disease, focussing on two key aspects of this disease, the C. psittaciinfected mare and the potential avian reservoirs of C. psittaci infection.
University of the Sunshine Coast
The overarching objective of this project is to reduce pregnancy losses in Australia’s thoroughbred industry as well as to reduce the risk of future spillover events to humans, thereby improving health and wellbeing of the horses and protecting Australian public from this zoonotic infection. To support this objective, this project will address key questions about the epidemiology of equine chlamydiosis by aiming to improve our understanding of: (i) the incidence of C. psittaci infection in mares, the duration of infection and the risk of associated equine pregnancy loss; and (ii) the avian reservoirs of equine C. psittaci infection and the potential routes of transmission to horses.
Project Start Date
Friday, June 22, 2018
Project Completion Date
Friday, December 31, 2021
Journal Articles From Project
Frontier technologies for building and transforming Australian industries
Adoption of R&D
HOR-Reduce the incidence and impact of diseases and parasites in horses