Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin reported last week that laboratory tests have confirmed a Georgia paint horse is infected with contagious equine metritis (CEM), a highly contagious, but treatable, venereal disease of horses. “Forty-five states currently are involved in the testing of exposed horses,” says Commissioner Irvin. “This is the first CEM positive horse in Georgia and the 13th stallion in the nation since the announcement of the first positive case December 15th.  The Georgia stallion has been under quarantine since January 16th of this year and will continue to be treated and tested for several weeks.” Dr. Carter Black III, Georgia’s state veterinarian, said the Georgia stallion that tested positive for Taylorella equigenitalis, the bacteria that causes CEM, was in Wisconsin in the 2008 breeding season with other stallions that had tested positive. USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service Veterinary Service reports that none of the positive horses have yet been identified as the source of the outbreak; the epidemiologic investigation continues to pursue all available information relevant to determining the origin of this outbreak, but no conclusions can yet be drawn.CEM is primarily spread during breeding either naturally or through artificial insemination.  Less commonly, the disease may be spread through contact with other contaminated objects.  Stallions do not show clinical signs but can carry and spread the disease.  Temporary infertility occurs in mares and the infection can progress and cause uterine inflammation or infection with a thick, milky, mucoid vulvar discharge.  Mares also can become carriers. CEM is a foreign animal reportable disease not normally found in the U.S. and does not present a disease risk to humans or other animals.For more information on CEM:,2473,38902732,00.html