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Front Vet Sci. 2019 Mar 13;6:71. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00071. eCollection 2019.

Equine Rhinitis A Virus Infection at a Standardbred Training Facility: Incidence, Clinical Signs, and Risk Factors for Clinical Disease.

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Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada.
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs, Guelph, ON, Canada.


Respiratory disease is a common morbidity of young racehorses. Infections can lead to compromised welfare, and economic loss. Identification of risk factors for infection through clinical signs monitoring and collection of demographic, serologic, and contact network data can aid in the development of prevention and control strategies. The study objectives were to: (1) describe the transmission and clinical course of infectious respiratory disease in standardbred racehorses in a multi-barn training facility and, (2) identify demographic, serological, and contact network risk factors associated with Equine Rhinitis A virus (ERAV) respiratory disease. The study population included standardbred racehorses (age 1-5 years: n = 96) housed at a multi-barn training facility in southern Ontario. Clinical signs were monitored daily over a 41-day period in fall 2017. Descriptive statistics, including incidence rate, prevalence and incidence risk were calculated for the observed period. Associations between demographic, serologic, and contact pattern variables, and clinical disease status were investigated using multivariable logistic regression. Respiratory disease cases were characterized by mucopurulent discharge (100%), intermittent cough (37.7%), and ocular discharge (62.3%). Fever (>38.5°C) and inappetence were rarely reported (15.2 and 3.8%). Seroconversion to ERAV among cases was 75%. Total, and yearling-specific incidence risks were 52.5 and 87.9%. The cumulative incidence was 0.027 new cases/horse day. A negative association (OR = 0.011) between increasing age and respiratory disease was significant (p = < 0.001) in the final regression model. Yearling horses were at increased risk of infectious respiratory disease as demonstrated by the high yearling-specific incidence risk, and the negative association between age and infection. Disease control strategies, such as vaccination programs and isolation of new horses arriving from auction, should be targeted at young animals entering training facilities.


Equine Rhinitis A virus; contact network; equine; infectious disease; respiratory

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