Bacterial and viral diseases are major causes of reproductive loss in horses, either through abortion events or the death of newborn foals. Chlamydia psittaci is an emerging bacterial cause of reproductive loss in horses only recently described in Australian equines, and yet, during a recent outbreak over 20% of lost foals were attributed to this organism. Equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) causes respiratory disease in adult horses, is highly contagious and is the major viral cause of equine abortion in Australia.
Together EHV-1 and C.psittaci have a significant economic impact on Australian Thoroughbred breeders. C.psittaci is also a risk to veterinarians and stud workers coming into contact with infected abortion products and can cause life-threatening pneumonia. This project aims to address these issues by providing clear diagnostic criteria for C.psittaci and rapid diagnostic tests for use at the point-of-care.