Open Veterinary Journal

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Serosurveillance of infectious agents in equines of the Central Valley of Costa Rica

D Jiménez, JJ Romero-Zuñiga, G Dolz


Blood samples from 181 equines from the Central Valley of Costa Rica were collected in the year 2012 to determine the presence of antibodies against selected infectious agents in horses and to determine the risk factors associated with these agents. The presence of antibodies against Equine Infectious Anemia Virus (EIAV), Equine Herpes Virus 1 and 4 (EHV-1 and EHV-4), West Nile Virus (WNV), Influenza A Virus (IAV), Equine Viral Arteritis Virus (EVAV), Babesia caballi, Theileria equi, Neospora caninum and Chlamydia abortus was determined using commercial assays, and risk factors associated with seropositivity to the different infectious agents was established. The most seroprevalent agent detected was EHV-4 (96.7%), followed by WNV (44.2%), and IAV (41.8%). Horses >3 years, used for work or sports, and with access to pastures, had significantly increased probability to be seropositive to WNV, whereas horses used for breeding and recreational purposes, being stabled, and without access to pastures, had significantly greater probability to be seropositive to IAV. Seroprevalence to B. caballi (19.9%) was lower than to T. equi (38.1%). For B. caballi, access to pastures was determined as a risk factor, whereas being older than 3 years was established as a risk factor for T. equi. Low seroprevalences were determined for EHV-1 (5.0%), EVAV (5.0%), C. abortus (4.8%), and N. caninum (4.4%). Mares having history of abortion were more likely to be seropositive to EHV-1, whereas horses >3 years, used for work and sports, and mares having multiple parturitions, were more likely to be seropositive to N. caninum. None of the horses were seropositive to EIAV. Earlier, only diseases caused by EIAV, WNV and piroplasmosis were reported in Costa Rica. The present study however, determined the presence of carriers for EHV-1, EHV-4, and EIAV.

Keywords: Costa Rica, Equines, Infectious agents, Risk factors, Seropositivity

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