A new sustained release formulation of the antibiotic ceftiofur, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in horses with pneumonia, makes treating affected foals easier."The bacterium Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus is a common cause of pneumonia in horses," said Scott McClure, DVM, PhD, Dipl. AVCS, an assistant professor at Iowa State University. "The antibiotic ceftiofur, initially introduced in 1994, remains effective against S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus." McClure presented on a ceftiofur study at the 2010 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 4-8 in Baltimore, Md.
Currently, ceftiofur is licensed for use in horses, but is labeled for administration every 24 hours.
"As part of the FDA approval procedure, we tested a sustained release formulation of ceftiofur that only needs to be administered by a veterinarian two times to horses with S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus pneumonia," explained McClure. "This is an easy-to-use product that will ... improve client compliance."
McClure and colleagues administered the sustained release formulation intramuscularly two times, four days apart.
In total, 201 affected horses that tested positive for pneumonia due to S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus were enrolled in the study. A clinical cure was achieved in 66.9% of the 145 treated horses, whereas only 32.1% of the 56 placebo-treated horses were cured.
"This study demonstrates that the tested sustained release ceftiofur formulation was effective for pneumonia due to S. equi subsp. zooepidemicus as the sole therapy," McClure summarized. "It is safe, effective, and simple to use."
McClure and colleagues hypothesized that these success rates are likely to improve if veterinarians also employ anti-inflammatory drugs and bronchodilators to treat affected horses.
Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.