Bacteriology Laboratory, National Reference Laboratory for CEM, Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária- INIAV (National Institute of Agrarian and Veterinary Research), Avenida da República, Quinta do Marquês, 2784-157 Oeiras, Portugal
Contagious equine metritis (CEM), a highly contagious bacterial venereal infection of equids, caused by Taylorella equigenitalis, is of major international concern, causing short-term infertility in mares. Portugal has a long tradition of horse breeding and exportation and until recently was considered CEM-free. However, in 2008, T. equigenitalis was isolated at our laboratory from a recently imported stallion and 2 mares from the same stud. Following this first reported outbreak, the Portuguese Veterinary Authority (DGVA) performed mandatory testing on all remaining equines at the stud (n=30), resulting in a further 4 positive animals. All positive animals were treated and subsequently tested negative for T. equigenitalis. Since this outbreak, over 2000 genital swabs from Portuguese horses have been tested at our laboratory, with no further positive animals identified. The available data suggests that this CEM outbreak was an isolated event and we have no further evidence of CEM cases in Portugal, however, an extended and wider epidemiological study would be needed to better evaluate the incidence of the disease in Portuguese horses.
Keywords: Contagious disease, Contagious equine metritis, Equine, Reproduction, Taylorella equigenitalis.