NZ’s first neurological EHV-1 cases in first-quarter global report

The EHV-1 virus
The EHV-1 virus.

New Zealand’s first recorded cases of neurological disease related to equine herpes virus-1 (EHV-1) infection were among equine disease outbreaks reported in the first quarter of 2014 to the International Collating Center in Newmarket, England.

The United States suffered what it called a significant number of outbreaks of the disease during the same period.

The center and other sources reported in the latest edition of Equine Disease Quarterly the following disease outbreaks for the first quarter:

  • South Africa had the seasonal occurrence of African horse sickness. Outbreaks were confirmed on properties in several districts in the protection and surveillance zones of the Western Cape Province.
  • Strangles outbreaks were reported by Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, the UK, and the US. Two outbreaks involving eight horses were confirmed in Denmark. France recorded 12 outbreaks. A limited number of cases were diagnosed on two premises in Germany. Ireland reported 19 cases on premises in two provinces, and Switzerland reported two cases. The United Arab Emirates reported a carryover of the disease from late 2013, with an overall estimate of 77 cases on nine premises. Dual strangles and equine herpesvirus-4 infection was diagnosed in the UK. Strangles was reported to be endemic in the US.
  • Limited cases of equine influenza were recorded in Ireland, the UK, and the US.
  • Respiratory disease caused by EHV-1 was confirmed in France (six outbreaks) and the UK. France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, the UK, and the US all recorded outbreaks of EHV-1 abortion. Sporadic cases were confirmed in France and the UK; multiple cases were recorded in Germany (eight premises), Japan (16 premises), Switzerland (one premises), and the US (two premises).
  • EHV-1 related neurologic disease was reported by France (sporadic), Germany (sporadic), Japan (sporadic), New Zealand, and the US. New Zealand recorded the first outbreak of the disease in the country that encompassed 15 cases on one farm of which seven were euthanized or died. The US confirmed a significant number of outbreaks in eight states. Whereas many outbreaks involved one to two cases, those in Illinois and Utah were more significant, with a high clinical-attack rate and case-fatality rate.
  • EHV-4 related disease was reported by France (10 outbreaks of respiratory disease), Germany (single case of abortion), and the UK (isolated cases of dual infection with strangles on two premises).
  • Evidence of equine arteritis virus infection was reported from Germany (three carrier stallions), Switzerland (one case), and the United States (serologic evidence of infection in breeding stock in eight states).
  • A limited number of cases of EHV-2 and EHV-5 infection were reported by the USs.
  • Canada and the US recorded outbreaks of equine infectious anemia. Twenty-one cases were diagnosed in Canada: three in Alberta (one premises) and 18 in Saskatchewan (five premises). The disease was confirmed in six horses on two shared premises in Tennessee in the US.
  • Piroplasmosis was reported by France (endemic), Spain (endemic), UAE (endemic in non-thoroughbreds), and the US. The US diagnosed Theileria equi infection in three quarter horse racehorses and one Spanish purebred.
  • Germany confirmed contagious equine metritis in 20 non-thoroughbred horses (14 stallions and six mares).
  • Abortions due to leptospiral infection were confirmed in the US (10 cases).
  • Eight cases of nocardioform placentitis and abortion associated with Amycolatopsis spp. infection were confirmed in Kentucky, US.
  • Abortions due to Salmonella Abortusequi were reported by Japan. The disease was confirmed in four non-thoroughbred mares on one premises.
  • Germany, Ireland, Switzerland, and the US recorded limited numbers of cases of salmonellosis, with Group B salmonellae implicated in US cases.
  • Cases of proliferative enteropathy due to Lawsonia intracellularis infection were reported in several states in the US. Clostridial enteritis was only recorded in the US. Several cases of C. difficile toxin types A and B and six cases of C. perfringens type A were diagnosed in young foals.
  • France and Germany reported a very limited number of outbreaks of rotaviral diarrhea, one in France and two in Germany, the latter involving a total of six foals.
  • Rhodococcal disease was recorded in the US, where it is endemic.
  • Isolated cases of Lyme disease (Switzerland), tetanus (Switzerland), and rabies (US) were reported during the period under review.

Equine Disease Quarterly is funded by underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, brokers and their Kentucky agents.


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