Mycotic abortion

Abortions of mycotic etiology . Fungal agents are opportunistic microorganisms that are installed in the uterus of mares almost always by gynecological maneuvers performed without the corresponding asepsis. The use of antibiotic drugs in prolonged treatment is also usually a predisposing factor . In general, fungi cause placentitis and consequent fetal death in the last third of management. Although fungal abortions have a low incidence rate, they should be mentioned and taken into account.


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  • 1 Aspergillus fumigatus
  • 2 Symptoms
  • 3 Diagnosis
  • 4 Necropsy of the fetus
  • 5 Prophylaxis
  • 6 Source

Aspergillus fumigatus

It is the fungus most frequently found. To a lesser extent, the event occurs with agents of the Mucorales order. It is assumed that A. fumigatus reaches the placenta via the bloodstream from parietal lesions of the lungs or intestine. Oral and aerogenic routes can also be a gateway, after ingestion or inhalation of spores from moldy hay or straw when mares are pregnant. Although fungal agents may be incorporated into the uterus during service , it is highly unlikely that it will infect the placenta since it has a remarkable defense mechanism.

Equine abortions due to A. fumigatus usually occur between 8-11 months of pregnancy. The infection severely alters the chorioallantois causing necrosis and thickening that interferes with the nutrition of the fetus, causing emaciation and death . Although it is not frequent, the fetus can become infected through the bloodstream through the umbilical vessels, or through the amnion or allantois. Sometimes the fetus can be born alive, but it dies shortly after.


A few days before the abortion , the mares show swollen, milk- filled breasts . There may be brownish- colored vulvar discharges . After the mare has aborted, there is usually a purulent discharge from the vulva that returns after a few days of evolution.


Aspergillus fumigatus can be cultured from the placenta, lungs , liver, and stomach of the fetus.

Necropsy of the fetus

The size of the fetus is usually too small for the time of gestation. The main alteration is in the placenta, notably thickened and with areas of necrosis that take on a grayish- yellow color . In the amnion there are necrotic plaques that may be attached to the skin of the fetus. Small whitish gray nodules appear in the lungs , the seat of Aspergillus fumigatus. The liver , in general, does not present alterations.


Gynecological maneuvers must be performed under strict hygiene , since fungal agents may be incorporated into the mares’ reproductive tract before service. The animals do not have to be served until it is established, either through smears or cultures neck , which are free from infection


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