About EAFL

Equine Aminionitis and Foetal Loss (EAFL) is a name given to a disease associated with abortions in mares and the birth of compromised newborn foals. Read more about the clinical signs and pathology of EAFL, and about how the disease is diagnosed here.

EAFL was first reported in Australia in 2004-2005 but we now know it has been here for many years.

We also know that exposure of pregnant mares to the processionary caterpillar (Ochrogaster lunifer) is the major cause of EAFL. Experimental studies performed at The University of Queensland Gatton have recreated the condition by administering processionary caterpillars to pregnant mares under controlled conditions.

Processionary caterpillar (~ 40mm)

EAFL cases have been diagnosed as early as March and as late as September with most cases occurring between June and August. Read more about how long it takes from exposure to caterpillars for an abortion to occur here.

EAFL has also been implicated in cases of sick foals that are born alive at or near term and are compromised as a result of bacterial infection in the uterus. It is possible that EAFL may occasionally cause other conditions – this area needs more research.