An outbreak of influenza occurred among thoroughbred racehorses in Hong Kong in November-December 1992, with morbidity of 37%. All horses involved had been vaccinated against equine-1 and equine influenza viruses but not against the virus responsible for the 1989 equine influenza outbreak in northern China (influenza A/equine/Jilin/89, subtype H3N8). Therefore the source and nature of the virus causing the Hong Kong outbreak was investigated. Virus isolated from a horse infected during the outbreak was used for genetic analysis. All the viral gene segments were similar to those of equine-2 (H3N8) influenza viruses and unrelated to those of equine/Jilin/89 virus. The nucleotide sequence of the viral hemagglutinin gene showed high homology (99.4%) to that of influenza A/equine/Suffolk/89 (H3N8) virus which has circulated extensively in Europe. However, these viruses differed in their antigenic reactivity to a panel of monoclonal antibodies. Preliminary epizootiological information plus the concordance of amino acid sequence between hemagglutinins of the Hong Kong isolate and a contemporaneous equine-e influenza virus isolate from the United Kingdom indicated that the probable source of the Hong Kong outbreak was horses recently imported from England or Ireland.
|Number of pages||7|
|State||Published - Nov 1 1994|
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