Taylorella equigenitalis, the aetiological agent for contagious equine metritis (CEM)
is sensitive to a wide range of antimicrobial drugs in vitro. Current treatments are
anectdotal and validated protocols are undefined.
The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of two topical antimicrobial
agents and the duration of treatment required to eliminate T. equigenitalis in stallions. The
treatment process was strictly monitored with daily quantitative polymerase chain reaction
(qPCR) sampling and testing of the colonised stallion to determine an effective treatment
duration and to note trends in cycle threshold (Ct) values. The study was approved by the
University of Pretoria’s Animal Use and Care Committee (V 068/12) according to the South
African National Standard (SANS 10386: 2008) for the care and use of animals for scientific
Twenty three stallions colonised with Taylorella equigenitalis were randomly
assigned to either one of two topical treatment categories: 1% silver sulphadiazine (n=11)
and 0.2% nitrofurazone (n=12). A standardised treatment protocol consisting of topical
cleansing and antimicrobial application was performed.
Descriptive statistical analysis of the treatment duration and cycle threshold (Ct)
values obtained from qPCR was performed to compare the two antimicrobial agents and to
determine trends in the data. This study can provide a validated treatment and monitoring
protocol for the topical treatment of CEM in stallions.