Equine botulism and acute pasture myodystrophy: new soil-borne emerging diseases in Switzerland?

Gerber, V; Straub, R; Frey, J (2006). Equine botulism and acute pasture myodystrophy: new soil-borne emerging diseases in Switzerland? Schweizer Archiv für Tierheilkunde, 148(10), pp. 553-9. Bern: Huber 10.1024/0036-7281.148.10.553

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In Switzerland, the incidence of equine botulism and acute pasture myodystrophy have remarkably increased in the last five years. Equine fodder-borne botulism in Europe is most likely caused by Clostridium botulinum types C and D that produce the toxins BoNT/C and BoNT/D. Horses showing signs suggestive of botulism (muscle weakness and tremors, reduced tongue tone, slow chewing, salivation and difficulties swallowing, drooping eyelids, mydriasis), especially patients that have fed on suspect fodder (mostly haylage), must be treated with anti-serum as soon as possible.They also need intensive care, which is often difficult to provide and always expensive in the face of a guarded to poor prognosis. Therefore, prevention (high standards of forage quality and vaccination) is all the more important. Pasture myodystrophy is an acute disease with signs of rhabdomyolysis and lethality rate over 90%. It affects grazing horses under frosty, windy and rainy conditions. Preliminary results indicate that Clostridium sordellii and Clostridium bifermentans producing lethal toxin may play a role in pasture myodystrophy. Our efforts concentrate on developing a new subunit vaccine for equine botulism and understanding the ethiology and pathogenesis of pasture myodystrophy with the goal of improving prevention against these highly fatal diseases that present a significant risk to our horse population.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Clinical Veterinary Medicine (DKV) > Equine Clinic
05 Veterinary Medicine > Department of Infectious Diseases and Pathobiology (DIP) > Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology

UniBE Contributor:

Gerber, Vinzenz; Straub, Reto and Frey, Joachim








Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 14:45

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:13

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https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/18648 (FactScience: 853)

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