General information

Contagious equine metritis (CEM) is caused by the gram-negative bacillus Taylorella equigenitalis. Transmission particularly occurs during mating; stallions latently carry the pathogen on the mucous membrane of the penis, especially in the Fossa urethralis and in the smegma of the prepuce. Transmission from infected mares to stallions is also possible. In mares, an infection leads to endometritis/cervicitis with mucopurulent vaginal discharge and to reduced fertility. Stallions show no clinical signs of the disease.

In addition to the bacteriological examination (required for exports), it is now possible to detect Taylorella equigenitalis by PCR. We recommend it as a quick way to get a preliminary diagnosis; to receive the official export licence, a bacteriological examination is still required. In Germany, there is an obligation to inform the authorities, if Taylorella equigenitalis is detected.