African horse sickness outbreaks caused by multiple virus types in Ethiopia

African horse sickness (AHS) is associated with high morbidity and mortality in equids, especially horses. A retrospective analysis was carried out concerning 737 AHS outbreaks that occurred during 2007–2010 in Ethiopia. A total of ten outbreaks were investigated in the study period. All four forms of the disease (pulmonary, cardiac, horse sickness fever and the combined form) were observed, with the cardiac form being the most prevalent. Multiple African horse sickness virus serotypes (AHSV-2, AHSV-4, AHSV-6, AHSV-8 and AHSV-9) were detected by molecular methods (type-specific real-time RT-PCR assays), and fourteen isolates were derived from blood and tissue samples collected during 2009–2010. This is the first report of AHSV-4, AHSV-6 or AHSV-8 in Ethiopia.

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