Natural exposure of horses to mosquito-borne flaviviruses in South-East Queensland, Australia

Prow, Natalie A., Tan, Cindy S. E., Wang, Wenqi, Hobson-Peters, Jody, Kidd. Lisa, Barton, Anita, Wright, John, Hall, Roy A. and Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Helle (2013) Natural exposure of horses to mosquito-borne flaviviruses in South-East Queensland, Australia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 10 9: 4432-4443. doi:10.3390/ijerph10094432

Author Prow, Natalie A.
Tan, Cindy S. E.
Wang, Wenqi
Hobson-Peters, Jody
Kidd. Lisa
Barton, Anita
Wright, John
Hall, Roy A.
Bielefeldt-Ohmann, Helle
Title Natural exposure of horses to mosquito-borne flaviviruses in South-East Queensland, Australia
Journal name International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1661-7827
Publication date 2013-09-17
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3390/ijerph10094432
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 10
Issue 9
Start page 4432
End page 4443
Total pages 12
Place of publication Basel, Switzerland
Publisher M D P I AG
Language eng
Subject 2739 Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
2307 Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
Abstract In 2011 an unprecedented epidemic of equine encephalitis occurred in south-eastern (SE) Australia following heavy rainfall and severe flooding in the preceding 2-4 months. Less than 6% of the documented cases occurred in Queensland, prompting the question of pre-existing immunity in Queensland horses. A small-scale serological survey was conducted on horses residing in one of the severely flood-affected areas of SE-Queensland. Using a flavivirus-specific blocking-ELISA we found that 63% (39/62) of horses older than 3 years were positive for flavivirus antibodies, and of these 18% (7/38) had neutralizing antibodies to Murray Valley encephalitis virus (MVEV), Kunjin virus (WNVKUN) and/or Alfuy virus (ALFV). The remainder had serum-neutralizing antibodies to viruses in the Kokobera virus (KOKV) complex or antibodies to unknown/untested flaviviruses. Amongst eight yearlings one presented with clinical MVEV-encephalomyelitis, while another, clinically normal, had MVEV-neutralizing antibodies. The remaining six yearlings were flavivirus antibody negative. Of 19 foals born between August and November 2011 all were flavivirus antibody negative in January 2012. This suggests that horses in the area acquire over time active immunity to a range of flaviviruses. Nevertheless, the relatively infrequent seropositivity to MVEV, WNVKUN and ALFV (15%) suggests that factors other than pre-existing immunity may have contributed to the low incidence of arboviral disease in SE-Queensland horses during the 2011 epidemic.
Keyword Antibody response
Mosquito borne
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
School of Veterinary Science Publications
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 10 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 14 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Fri, 29 Nov 2013, 05:59:35 EST by System User on behalf of School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences