Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Male: bacterial venereal disease screening

Synonym(s): Bacterial culture of the reproductive tract

Contributor(s): Annalisa Barrelet, Madeleine L H Campbell, Rob Lofstedt, Graham Munroe, Elaine Watson



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UK  Bacteriology 

  • For CEM certification the sample must be processed by an  approved laboratory .
  • For CEM cultured on chocolate agar with and without containing antibiotics to reduce overgrowth, under microaerophilic conditions   Taylorella equigenitalis: culture - chocolate agar  .
  • Culture continued for at least 6 days before certificate is issued.
  • For aerobic venereal pathogens, cultured on blood and MacConkey agar under aerobic conditions.
  • Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of swabs for CEM organism may also be used in the UK.

This method is not recognized for import/export testing in the UK.

  • An immunofluorescence test (IFT) for CEM may also be used in addition to culture.

This is currently only available in France.


  • For CEM certification must be processed by a designated laboratory.


  • Approved laboratories only for CEM certification. Isolates of Klebsiella pneumoniae  Histoplasma spp  must be capsule typed to determine their venereal pathogenicity. This involves immunofluorescent staining with specific fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) labeled antisera.
  • The isolate is subcultured for purity, and then grown on Worfel-Ferguson medium (Oxoid Ltd, UK) to swell the capsules.
  •  Pseudomonas aeruginosa  Pseudomonas aeruginosa  serotypes may be differentiated but no correlation has been found between serotype and venereal pathogenicity.

Result Data

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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Breuil M F et al (2009) Indirect immunofluorescence test using polyclonal antibodies for the detection of Taylorella equigenitalis. Res Vet Sci [Epub ahead of print] PubMed.
  • Wakeley P R et al (2006) Development of a real time PCR for the detection of Taylorella equigenitalis directly from genital swabs and discrimination from Taylorella asinigenitalis. Vet Microbiol 118 (3-4), 247-254 PubMed.
  • Watson E D (1997) Swabbing protocols in screening for contagious equine metritis. Vet Rec 140 (11), 268-271 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Horserace Betting Levy Board (2016) Codes of Practice. 5th Floor, 21 Bloomsbury Street, London WC1B 3HF, UK. Tel: +44 (0)207 333 0043; Fax: +44 (0)207 333 0041; Email: enquiries@hblb.org.uk; Website: http://codes.hblb.org.uk.
  • Ricketts S (2004) How to Collect Reproductive Swabs in Stud Practice. In: Proc 43rd BEVA Congress. Equine Vet J Ltd, UK. pp 226.