Catherine Werners-Butler, PhD, DVM, MRCVS, Dipl. ECEIM, Dipl. RNVA

Catherine Werners-Butler, PhD, DVM, MRCVS, Dipl. ECEIM, Dipl. RNVA
Associate Professor
Diplomate European College Equine Internal Medicine
Large Animal Medicine and Surgery Academic Program


Click here to view complete Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Werners-Butler graduated with a degree in Veterinary Medicine from the University of Gent in 1998, followed by a Residency in Equine Internal Medicine with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University from 2001-2006. She is a specialist in Equine Internal Medicine with both the Royal Netherlands Veterinary Association and the European College of Equine Internal Medicine.

Her research has focused on the prevalence, incidence, persistence and significance of tick-related diseases in horses. Different laboratory techniques have been used (ELISA, IFAT, PRC-RLB, qPCR, cytology, in vitro culture and experimental infection) and compared. She has investigated the prevalence and incidence of Anaplasma phagocytophilumBorrelia burgdorferiBabesia caballi and Theileria equi in horses in the Netherlands. By doing so she has confirmed the first autochthonous clinical cases of Anaplasmosis and Babesiosis in Dutch horses. She has also evaluated the clinical relevance of B. burgdorferi infection in horses in a prospective study, given continuing controversy around this subject in horses, humans and other mammals. Furthermore, Dr. Werners-Butler has assessed the treatment efficacy against equine piroplasmata with imidocarb dipropionate, showing for the first time that Babesia caballi is not always eliminated in natural infected asymptomatic carrier horses. Using PCR-RLB in these carrier horses a potential new Theileria variant (provisionally named Theileria sp. Morito) was detected that seems to be more resistant to imidocarb treatment compared to Theileria equi. Experimental infection of T. equi and B. caballi in two ponies showed that, after complete clinical recovery, DNA from both pathogens is detectable in almost all organs at post mortem examination in different quantities, suggesting a tropism for, and persistence in specific organs.

Areas of Interest
Equine, Tick-borne diseases, Zoonoses, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Borrelia burgdorferi, Theileria equi, Babesia caballi
Royal Netherlands Veterinary Association (RNVA), European College Equine Internal Medicine (ECEIM), Royal College Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS)
Selected Publications

Butler CM, Sloet van Oldruitenborgh-Oosterbaan MM, Stout TA, van der Kolk JH,
Wollenberg Lv, Nielen M, Jongejan F, Werners AH, Houwers DJ. Prevalence of the causative agents of equine piroplasmosis in the South West of The Netherlands and the identification of two autochthonous clinical Theileria equi infections. Vet J. 2012 Aug;193(2):381-5.

Bhoora R, Quan M, Franssen L, Butler CM, van der Kolk JH, Guthrie AJ, Zweygarth E,
Jongejan F, Collins NE (2010) Development and evaluation of real-time PCR assays for the quantitative detection of Babesia caballi and Theileria equip infections in horses from South Africa.Vet Parasitol. 2010 Mar 25;168(3-4):201-11.

Butler CM, Nijhof AM, van der Kolk JH, de Haseth OB, Taoufik A, Jongejan F, Houwers DJ
(2008) Repeated high dose imidocarb dipropionate treatment did not eliminate Babesia caballi from naturally infected horses as determined by PCR-reverse line blot hybridization. Vet Parasitol. 151(2-4):320-2

Butler CM, Nijhof AM, Jongejan F, van der Kolk JH (2008) Anaplasma phagocytophilum
infection in horses in the Netherlands. Vet Rec. 162(7):216-7

Butler CM, Houwers DJ, Jongejan F, van der Kolk JH (2005) Borrelia burgdorferi infections
with special reference to horses. A review. Veterinary Quarterly 27(4): 146-156

Butler CM, van Gils JAM., van der Kolk JH. An acute infection with B. caballi in a
standardbred foal after visiting a stud in Normandy with a review of the literature.
Tijdschrift voor Diergeneeskunde 2005;130(23):726-31

Selected Projects

Although Dr. Werners-Butler’s main research interests involve all aspects of tick-borne diseases in the horse, the focus of her current research seeks to determine the prevalence of - and possible tolerance to tick-borne diseases in domestic Grenadian horses. The results obtained will be used to study the variations in pathogen-host interactions in horses kept under different conditions. The ultimate goal of this is to provide tools to ameliorate preventive measures (e.g. vaccination), diagnosis and treatment of tick-borne diseases.