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The Equine Influenza Outbreak in Pakistan 2016: Seroprevalence and Geo-Temporal Epidemiology of a Large Propagating Outbreak

The Equine Influenza Outbreak in Pakistan 2016: Seroprevalence and Geo-Temporal Epidemiology of a Large Propagating Outbreak

Amjad Khan1,*, Muhammad Hassan Mushtaq1, Mansur ud Din Ahmad1, Jawad Nazir1, Zahida Fatima2, Asghar Khan3 and Shahid Hussain Farooqi3

1Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore 54000, Pakistan
2Pakistan Agricultural Research Council, Islamabad 33000, Pakistan
3Department of Clinical Medicine and Surgery, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore 54000, Pakistan

*      Corresponding author: dramjadkhan77@gmail.com

ABSTRACT

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province of Pakistan experienced an extensive epidemic of equine influenza (EI) in October 2015 in equine population. EI is among the OIE or WHO notifiable, contagious equine respiratory diseases. Due to lack of awareness and interest of all the equine industry stakeholders no vaccination against EI is performed, also the information regarding the epidemiology and occurrence of EI is lacking in Pakistan. We hereby attempted to determine the seroprevalence, investigating the EI outbreak 2015-16, and describing the demographic and management risk factors associated with seroprevalence of EIV. Using ELISA kit and HI as serological methods for diagnosis, we found a 24.13% (168/696) overall seroprevalence, where the seroprevalence for H3N8 was 14.51% (101/696), for H7N7 6.03% (42/696), and 3.59% (25/696) as mixed infections, suggesting EIV current and active circulation in equine population of Pakistan. Statistical analysis suggested predicting variables including “local equine density per 2 KM”, “equines workings in ponds and rivers”, and “geography of the equine” were significantly (P<0.05) associated with seroprevalence of EIV. Our findings of the EIV occurrence in equine population in Pakistan, suggests an under-diagnosis of this virus in Pakistan and warrant additional investigation and continuous surveillance at the molecular level to identify circulating strains for control and prevention of future outbreaks.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

June

Vol. 50, Iss. 3, Pages 799-1198

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