The U.S. Department of Agriculture has informed local state regulatory and animal health professionals of a recent outbreak of Contagious Equine Metritis (CEM) within the United States. The outbreak originates from Kentucky, where a Quarter Horse stallion tested positive for CEM in early December 2008. CEM is considered a foreign animal disease that occurs in breeding populations in various countries in the world. The test was performed by the University of Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center and reported to the Kentucky state veterinarian.
Additional stallions were subsequently confirmed to be positive for CEM. At this posting, there are reported to be seven known infected stallions in two states (Kentucky and Indiana). In addition, 120+ mares in 38 states have been exposed due to having been artificially inseminated with semen from the infected stallions. Of those mares, at least seven, and potentially more, are in California.
Equine veterinarians may be contacted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and requested to collect biological serum samples and bacteria cultures on their behalf. This website provides a step-by-step procedure for collecting these samples and shipping them for testing. For further clarification on these procedures, please contact Dr. Katherine Flynn at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, telephone (916)651-9165, or Dr. Gregory Ferraro at the Center for Equine Health, UC Davis, telephone (530)752-6433.