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Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses (IBIZ)

National Reference Laboratory for Contagious Equine Metritis

Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM) is a bacterial venereal infectious disease in horses caused by Taylorella equigenitalis. The clinical picture is characterized by mucopurulent vaginal discharge as a sign of a cervical or vaginal inflammation in mares and can lead to temporary infertility. Even when there are no clinical signs, the animals may excrete the pathogen and transmit it to the stallion which may also remain asymptomatic and transmit the infection.

Diagnostics are based on sampling of genital swabs from mares and stallions and cultivation of the pathogen. These investigations are carried out in private or state laboratories prior to export or in the frame of surveillance of breeding horses. The task of the Reference Laboratory is the confirmation of any suspicious sample.