Nutritional Articles

Listeria monocytogenes in horses in Iceland

Published: 2004-12-21

Brief content of the article
Although not directly related to nutrition, Listeriosis infection may be associated with the nutritive value of the feed and feeding/climate conditions, especially in Iceland. According to the authors, this phenomenon may be a consequence of the feeding practice of large herds of horses in this country. These herds are fed grass silage outdoors during the winter time. Due to the cool, wet climate these grass silages tend to have lower sugar levels and higher moisture contents, resulting in a poorer, slower fermentation which provide better conditions for the proliferation of L monocytogenes than in silages produced in warmer climates. The disease is rare in general but in Iceland dozens of horses died from this disease each year. The most common clinical signs are febrile gastroenteritis or septicaemia. This article describes a study in which the authors used serotyping, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and ribotyping to characterise twenty isolates of Listeria monocytogenes associated with five confirmed and four suspected incidents of listeriosis in Iceland.
Keywords: spoiled feed; listeriosis; ribotyping; pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.

Gudmundsdottir, K.B., Svansson, V., Aalbæk, B., Gunnarsson, E., and Sigurdarson, S. 2004. Listeria monocytogenes in horses in Iceland. Veterinary Record 9: 456-459.

Website and Publisher