Strangles is an infectious and contagious disease of horses, which is caused by Streptococcus equi subsp. equi. Infected horses are initially pyrexic before exhibiting signs of mucoid to mucopurulent nasal discharge, depression, and abscess formation of submandibular lymph nodes. If the retropharyngeal lymph nodes are involved, horses have difficulty swallowing, inspiratory respiration noise, and extended head and neck.

Diagnosis and tests available


Diagnosis is based on clinical findings and confirmed by bacterial culture of Streptococcus equi subsp. equi from lesions and PCR.

Tests available


Sample(s) required

Days of the week test is conducted

Turnaround time1

Culture for Streptococcus equi subsp. equi

Pus, or swab in Amies transport media

Monday – Saturday2

7 days

Streptococcus equi subsp. equi PCR3

Dry swab, or  culture or agar plate

Monday – Friday

Up to 5 days

1Turnaround times are provided as a guide only. For specific information about your submission please contact Customer Service.
2 Prior approval of delivery and testing on Saturday is required. Please contact Customer Service on 1800 675 623 to seek approval.
3 This test is not NATA accredited.

Specimen requirements


  • Swab collected from lesions and/or upper respiratory tract
    • Submit chilled in transport media (Amies gel) for culture
    • Submit chilled dry swab for PCR
    • N.B Swabs submitted in Amies transport media can not be used for PCR