The only vaccine currently available to protect horses from leptospirosis recently received additional approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use in mares in all three trimesters of pregnancy.
Lepto EQ Innovator, which is produced by Zoetis, was introduced last year but at that time was only approved for use in horses six months and older. More research was required to confirm the vaccine’s safety and efficacy for pregnant mares.
“The additional field safety study in first and third trimester mares was conducted following the launch of Lepto EQ Innovator to provide veterinarians and horse owners confidence in the vaccine across all phases of pregnancy,” explained Jacquelin Boggs, DVM, MS, DACVIM, senior veterinarian, Equine Technical Services in a statement from Zoetis.
Leptospirosis is caused by several types of Leptospira bacteria. In North America, the organism Leptospira interrogans serovar Pomona, (L. Pomona) is most often associated with disease in horses, causing septicemia0, uveitis0, kidney disease and abortion. The infection is acquired by exposure to water or soil contaminated with the bacteria via the urine of infected horses, cattle or wildlife.
This article first appeared in EQUUS issue #471, December 2016.