Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Veterinary Science

First Advisor

Dr. John F. Timoney


Streptococcus zooepidemicus (Sz) and Streptococcus equi (Se) share 98% DNA sequence homology, but display different pathogenic properties. Infection by one organism does not cross-protect against the other. To better understand pathogenic differences between these organisms and gain information about which proteins are expressed in horses infected experimentally with Se, intrauterine Sz or naturally with respiratory Sz we compared antibody specificities of convalescent sera using ELISA. These comparisons were based on sets of 8 and 14 immunoreactive recombinant proteins of Se strain CF32 and Sz strain NC78, respectively. Sera from donkeys that were previously naturally affected with strangles and later developed Sz pneumonia secondary to an experimental influenza challenge were also included.

Serum antibody responses were quantitatively and qualitatively much greater following recovery from strangles than following respiratory Sz infection. Increased reactions to Se proteins IdeE2, Se75.3, Se46.8, Se18.9 and Se42.0 were observed for the majority of strangles sera but not for sera from respiratory Sz infection cases. Reactions of sera from Sz respiratory disease to Sz proteins varied greatly and were mostly to HylC and ScpC. Interestingly, sera of donkey recovered from Sz bronchopneumonia did not show increased antibody reaction to any of the proteins even though these donkeys had also recovered from clinical strangles 6 months previously. Only 1/5 mare with Sz placentitis presented increased serum antibody responses to MAP. In conclusion, adaptive immune responses to Se of horses with strangles are stronger and involve a greater number of proteins than adaptive immune responses to Sz infection of the lower respiratory tract.

In an effort to develop an improved vaccine against Se, modified live strain of EHV-1, RacH was constructed to express three recombinant antigens of Se SeM, IdeE and Se18.9. Two groups of 10 and 2 ponies were vaccinated intramuscularly or intranasally, respectively. Another group (n=6) vaccinated with empty RacH served as controls. Sera from 2/3 ponies from each vaccination groups and 1/2 serum from IN vaccinated ponies showed increased serum neutralizing antibodies to EHV-1. ELISA detected no significant increase in antibodies to proteins. Only one IM and IN vaccinated pony showed serum bactericidal activity post vaccination.