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Sperl, Corinna; Gerber, Vinzenz; Driesslein, David; Klima, Andre and Becher, Anne M. (2019): Are Respiratory Clinical Signs in Horses Associated With Strongyle Egg Shedding Rates on Farms With Varying Egg Shedding Levels? In: Journal of Equine Veterinary Science, Vol. 75: pp. 104-111

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Respiratory signs or more specifically severe equine asthma (SEA) is in some studies reported to be associated with decreased strongyle egg shedding. This association can be reproduced in a larger population of unrelated horses. The owners of 209 horses, on seven farms in Bavaria, were interviewed using, an in prior studies validated questionnaire. Horses were categorized into classes of the horse owner assessed respiratory signs index (HOARSI 1-4, unaffected to severely affected). In total, 1,035 fecal samples were analyzed between March 2011 and September 2014 using a modified McMaster procedure resulting in fecal egg counts (FECs). The HOARSI categories were categorized into two groups in two ways: HOARSI 1 versus HOARSI 2, 3, 4 in model A and HOARSI 1 versus HOARSI 3 and 4 in model B, and further variables known to influence strongyle egg shedding, such as age and seasonality, time on pasture, and pasture hygiene were included in a generalized additive mixed model. The mean FECs (35-320 eggs per gram feces) was different between the farms. In the model, the effect of the presence or absence of respiratory signs on the FECs varied in its direction between the farms and was not significant. The effect of the horse itself, the age of the horse, and seasonality was significant (P < .05). These results are in contrast to some prior studies. Future studies should investigate if these differences are caused by genetic effects only present in some respiratory clinical signs and or SEA-affected horses. (C) 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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