Surveillance of equine respiratory viruses in Ontario

Andrés Diaz-Mendez, Laurent Viel, Joanne Hewson, Paul Doig, Susy Carman, Thomas Chambers, Ashish Tiwari, Catherine Dewey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The objective of this project was to develop and implement an active surveillance program for the early and rapid detection of equine influenza viruses in Ontario. For this purpose, from October 2003 to October 2005, nasopharyngeal swabs and acute and convalescent serum samples were collected from 115 client-owned horses in 23 outbreaks of respiratory disease in Ontario. Sera were paired and tested for antibody to equine influenza 1 (AE1-H7N7), equine influenza 2 (AE2-H3N8), equine herpesvirus 1 and 4 (EHV1 and EHV4), and equine rhinitis A and B (ERAV and ERBV). Overall, the cause-specific morbidity rate of equine influenza virus in the respiratory outbreaks was 56.5% as determined by the single radial hemolysis (SRH) test. The AE2-H3N8 was isolated from 15 horses in 5 outbreaks. A 4-fold increase in antibody levels or the presence of a high titer against ERAV or ERBV was observed in 10 out of 13 outbreaks in which AE2-H3N8 was diagnosed as the primary cause of disease. In conclusion, AE2-H3N8 was found to be an important contributor to equine respiratory viral disease. Equine rhinitis A and B (ERAV and ERBV) represented an important component in the equine respiratory disease of performing horses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-278
Number of pages8
JournalCanadian Journal of Veterinary Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary


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