Significant equine disease investigation scheme
Agriculture Victoria in collaboration with The University of Melbourne and the AgriBio Veterinary laboratory have developed a new project aimed at better understanding the causes of three common syndromes in Victorian horses; respiratory disease, neurological disease and abortion.
Outbreaks of respiratory disease, abortion and neurological disease will be investigated using conventional and molecular microbiological techniques in order to determine the infectious, or other causes of these diseases.
This project is modelled on the successful 2016 to 2017 project in which Agriculture Victoria partnered with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services to support veterinarians to investigate the cases of neurological disease in horses.
Private veterinarians can participate in the project by contacting their local AgVic veterinary officer. Subsidies are available under the SDI program and all laboratory testing is free.
It is possible for veterinarians who do not wish to apply for a SDI subsidy to still take advantage of the free laboratory testing by completing the project specific laboratory submission form (included on this page).
Laboratory testing will be undertaken at the State Government laboratory (AgriBio), the Centre for Equine Infectious Disease at the University of Melbourne and AAHL.
Respiratory samples will be tested for the presence of:
- equine herpesviruses 1,2,4,5
- equine picornaviruses (ERAV and ERBV)
- Streptococcus equi
- equine viral arteritis.
- equine influenza
National notifiable diseases such as equine influenza EHV-1 and Hendra will be included in the testing panel.
Abortion samples will be tested for the presence of:
- equine herpesvirus 1 and 4
- equine viral arteritis virus
- Chlamydia psittaci.
EHV-1 isolates will be sequenced to determine if they are the abortigenic or neuropathogenic form of the virus. Gross pathological examination will also be conducted to detect any cases of Equine Amnionitis & Foetal Loss (EAFL) or other placental pathologies.
Neurological samples will be tested for:
- Ross River virus (RRV)
- Murray Valley Encephalitis virus (MVEV)
- West Nile - Kunjin virus (KUNV)
For further information please contact your local AgVic veterinarian or:
Senior Surveillance Officer
Chief Veterinary Officer's Unit
Phone: (03) 5430 4525
Professor James Gilkerson
Centre for Equine Infectious Disease
University of Melbourne
Faculty for Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences
Phone: (03) 8344 9969