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From January 1993 to November 1994 155 mares and 5 stallions (Mecklenburgian, Oldenburgian, Hannoveranian, Haflinger, ponies) were presented for a first examination in a cover station in Mecklenburg-Vorpommem. Including follow-up examinations, we collected 213 swabs from the clitoris, 206 from the cervix, and 204 from the uterus of mares. From the stallions 14 samples from each urethra and fossa glandis of penis and 13 samples from preputium were obtained.Altogether opportunistic pathogens were isolated from the swabs of 85 mares (54.8%). These mares were divided into three groups according to BUSCH and KLUG (1999a). Group 1 germs Bhemolytic streptococci, klebsiellae, koagulase-positive Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bordetella bronchiseptica, hemolytic Escherichia coli and Taylorella equigenitalis) were isolated from 43.2%, Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus being the most frequent germ with 35.5%. Five mares (3.2%) showed excessive growth of pseudomonadaceae and yeasts (group 2). Another 12 mares belonged to group 3 because of excessive growth of Escherichia coli and coliformes in connection with clinical signs of a genital infection. The remaining 12 mares showed criteria of two groups, among them 8 mares of groups 113.In a single case, Taylorella equigenitalis was isolated from the urethra of a breeding stallion. Klebsiella pneumoniae, Aspergillus fumigatus, and Absidia corymbifera were each found once in the specimens of stallions. Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus was isolated in eight samples.Only 14.9% of mares with opportunistic pathogen germs were older than 13 years. In tendency, the mares belonging to the groups 112 and 2 were younger than the average of all mares with occasionally pathogens.Swab specimens of the cervix and uterus, supplemented by a swab specimen from the centre of the clitoral fosse in order to isolate Taylorella equigenitalis, are suitable for the microbiological assessment of the mares" genital tract.In 41 of 155 clinically asymptomatic mares (26.5%), opportunistic pathogen germs were found. Genital infection was always associated with bacteriological findings of pathogenic germs.The cytological investigation of the mares" genital mucosa allowed a direct insight concerning the multiplicity of isolated germ species.In six from 20 mares (30,0%) with repeated investigations and treatments the germ species varied from time to time. B-hemolytic streptococci showed a sensitivity of 100 per cent against oxacycline. Amoxicillin was effective in 29 of 42 tested strains. Penicillin was uneffective in 36 of 42 strains. 46 of 47 test Escherichia coli strains were sensitive to nitrofurantoin, 44 to enrofloxacin and 42 to polymyxin B. Polymyxin B was effective against Pantoea agglomerans in 100 per cent.We suspected inclusions of Chlamydophila spp. or antibodies, respectively, in 7.9% of Stampstained samples, 12.3% of direct immunofluorescence-tested specimens and in 13.3% of samples examined by recombinant ELISA. Only one mare was suspicious for a Chlamydiainduced abortion.