Prevalence of Ocular Microorganisms in Hospitalized and Stabled Horses

Am J Vet Res. 1988 Jun;49(6):773-7.


Microorganisms from normal eyes of hospitalized and stabled horses were identified, and the frequency of isolation was compared between the 2 groups. Using standard techniques, swab specimens from both eyes of 22 hospitalized horses and both eyes of 18 stabled horses were cultured for aerobic bacteria and fungi. Ninety-six aerobic bacteria and 57 fungi were isolated. The predominant bacterial isolates were gram-positive organisms, most of which belonged to the genera Corynebacterium, Bacillus, Staphylococcus, and Streptomyces. Gram-negative organisms comprised less than one-fourth of the bacterial isolates, with the genera Neisseria, Moraxella, and Acinetobacter being the most commonly isolated. Environmental fungi Cladosporium and Alternaria accounted for half of all fungal isolates. In only 5 horses were fungi isolated without accompanying isolation of bacteria. The frequency of isolation of fungi was higher (P less than 0.01) in stabled horses. For bacteria, the frequency of isolation was higher (P less than 0.08) in male horses. Results of susceptibility testing were recorded as the percentage of all isolates susceptible to a given antimicrobic drug. Bacterial isolates were highly susceptible (greater than or equal to 90%) to neomycin, polymixin B, gentamicin, and chloramphenicol. Overall, filamentous fungi had highest susceptibility to natamycin (97%). Miconazole was highly efficacious (100% susceptibility) against Fusarium and Aspergillus.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacteria / drug effects
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification
  • Bacterial Infections / complications
  • Bacterial Infections / epidemiology
  • Bacterial Infections / veterinary*
  • Carrier State / epidemiology
  • Carrier State / veterinary*
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / veterinary
  • Eye / microbiology*
  • Eye Diseases / epidemiology
  • Eye Diseases / veterinary*
  • Female
  • Fungi / drug effects
  • Fungi / isolation & purification
  • Horse Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Horses
  • Male
  • Mycoses / complications
  • Mycoses / epidemiology
  • Mycoses / veterinary*