Encephalitozoon cuniculi placentitis and abortion in a quarterhorse mare.
Encephalitozoon cuniculi is a microsporidial parasite, which has rarely been reported to cause placentitis in animals. A late-term aborted fetus and placenta from a Quarterhorse were presented to the Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center, University of Kentucky, for diagnostic examination. There was a necrotizing placentitis, with distension of many chorionic epithelial cells by intracytoplasmic vacuoles containing 1-2-microm-diameter, elongated, gram-positive organisms. The organisms were identified as E. cuniculi by electron microscopy and by polymerase chain reaction using primers to microsporidial ribosomal DNA. Joints of the fetus were swollen, with gross and microscopic lesions of synovitis; however, E. cuniculi DNA was not detected.
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