Dourine; mal de coit; syphilis du cheval; el dourin; morbo coitale maligno; slapsiekte, sluchnaya bolyezni; covering disease

Changed on: 17.05.2021

Animal disease categories: D E


Dourine is a disease unique to horses and other equids. It is caused by infection with Trypanosoma (T.) equiperdum, a unicellular parasite. It is not dangerous for humans.


Asia, Africa, Russia, Middle East, South America and Southeastern Europe.

Host animals

Horses, mules and donkeys

Route of infection

The dourine is a classical mating disease.

Incubation period

The incubation period can vary greatly, from one week to several months.


Fever, inflammation and swelling of the external genital organs, mucous discharge, loss of pigment in the mucous membrane, severe weight loss, emaciation, paralysis.


A therapy is currently not possible


There is no vaccination

Situation in Austria

Dourine is a notifiable animal disease. Austria has been free of dourine for many decades (1952).

Technical information

Dourine is caused by infection with Trypanosoma (T.) equiperdum, a unicellular parasite. It is a classic mating disease, with transmission from stallion to mare being the most common. However, transmission from mare to stallion is also possible. Transmission from mares to foals at birth (via mucous membranes) is rather rare.

Horses that are infected with dourine may not be used for breeding. Mares are excluded from breeding and must therefore be marked with the letters B.K. on the left side of the neck, stallions must be castrated.


Three stages with intermittent fever are distinguished:

  • In the first stage, there is inflammation of the external genital organs with swelling, redness, pustules, vesicles, ulcers, spots due to loss of pigment in the mucous membrane "toad spots" and mucous discharge.
  • In the second stage, there is local swelling of the skin. After healing, unpigmented spots appear ("valley spots")
  • In the third stage, movement disorders (especially of the rear extremities), nerve paralysis, weight loss, emaciation and anaemia occur.

Dourine is a notifiable animal disease. Control of dourine is based on preventing the introduction and spread of the pathogen.


Detection methods:

  • Pathomorphological investigations
  • Detection of antibodies by complement fixation reaction

Contact, Forms

Institute for Veterinary Investigations Mödling (National Reference Laboratory)Robert Koch-Gasse 172340 MödlingPhone: +43 50 555-38112Fax: +43

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