Streptococcus equi Infections in Horses: Guidelines for Treatment, Control, and Prevention of Strangles-Revised Consensus Statement

J Vet Intern Med. 2018 Mar;32(2):633-647. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15043. Epub 2018 Feb 9.


This consensus statement update reflects our current published knowledge and opinion about clinical signs, pathogenesis, epidemiology, treatment, complications, and control of strangles. This updated statement emphasizes varying presentations in the context of existing underlying immunity and carrier states of strangles in the transmission of disease. The statement redefines the "gold standard" for detection of possible infection and reviews the new technologies available in polymerase chain reaction diagnosis and serology and their use in outbreak control and prevention. We reiterate the importance of judicious use of antibiotics in horses with strangles. This updated consensus statement reviews current vaccine technology and the importance of linking vaccination with currently advocated disease control and prevention programs to facilitate the eradication of endemic infections while safely maintaining herd immunity. Differentiation between immune responses to primary and repeated exposure of subclinically infected animals and responses induced by vaccination is also addressed.

Keywords: Equine infectious upper respiratory disease; Guttural pouch; Lymphadenopathy; Nasal discharge.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Consensus
  • Disease Outbreaks / prevention & control
  • Disease Outbreaks / veterinary
  • Horse Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Horse Diseases / immunology
  • Horse Diseases / prevention & control
  • Horse Diseases / therapy
  • Horses
  • Lymphadenitis / diagnosis*
  • Lymphadenitis / immunology
  • Lymphadenitis / prevention & control
  • Lymphadenitis / therapy
  • Streptococcal Infections / diagnosis
  • Streptococcal Infections / immunology
  • Streptococcal Infections / prevention & control
  • Streptococcal Infections / veterinary*
  • Streptococcus equi / immunology
  • Vaccination / veterinary