Background: Rhodococcus equi infection is commonly known in equine medicine to cause frequently fatal rhodococcosis. Infections in other species and people are also reported. Clinical manifestation in goats is relatively similar to horses and humans, but data regarding bacterium prevalence are scarce. Thus, the study aimed to estimate the occurrence of R. equi in goats.
Methods: During post mortem examination, submandibular, mediastinal, and mesenteric lymph nodes were collected. Standard methods were used for bacteria isolation and identification.
Results: A total of 134 goats were examined, and 272 lymph node samples were collected. R. equi was isolated from four animals. All four isolates carried the choE gene, and one also had traA and pVAPN plasmid genes.
Conclusions: To the authors' best knowledge, this is the first report of R. equi occurrence and genetic diversity in goats. The results may help create a model for treating rhodococcosis in other animal species and assessing the role of meat contamination as a potential source of human infection. This research should be considered a pilot study for further application of the goat as a model of R. equi infection in horses and humans.
Keywords: abscesses; rhodococcosis; ruminants.