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Vet Ital. 2015 Apr-Jun;51(2):123-30. doi: 10.12834/VetIt.200.617.3.

African horse sickness outbreaks in Namibia from 2006 to 2013: clinical, pathological and molecular findings.

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Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise 'G. Caporale', Campo Boario, 64100 Teramo, Italy.


African horse sickness (AHS) is a vector‑borne viral disease of equids, endemic in Sub‑Saharan Africa. This article reports the clinic‑pathological and laboratory findings observed in the framework of passive surveillance during the AHS outbreaks which occurred in Namibia between 2006 and 2013. This study was conducted in the framework of the collaboration among the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise (Teramo, Italy), the Namibian Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry, and the Namibian National Veterinary Association. A total of 92 horses were investigated, showing different clinical form of AHS: peracute/acute (n = 43), sub‑acute (n = 21) and mild AHS fever (n = 19). Clinical data were not available for 9 horses, because they were found dead. Pathological findings have been recorded for 35 horses. At necropsy, pulmonary and subcutaneous oedema, haemorrhages and enlargement of lymph nodes were mainly observed. Diagnosis was confirmed by laboratory testing, AHS virus (AHSV) was isolated from 50 horses and the identified serotypes were: 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9. The phylogenetic analysis of the S10 genome sequences segregated the Namibian AHSV strains in the same clusters of those circulating in South Africa in recent years. The description of AHS clinical, pathological, and laboratory features of AHS provided in this article is of value for differential diagnosis and control of AHS, especially in areas currently free from this disease.

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