Next Article in Journal
A Content Analysis of Media Coverage of the Introduction of a Smoke-Free Bylaw in Vancouver Parks and Beaches
Next Article in Special Issue
Genetic Analysis of West Nile Virus Isolates from an Outbreak in Idaho, United States, 2006–2007
Previous Article in Journal
Patterns of Smoking Prevalence among the Elderly in Europe
Previous Article in Special Issue
A Review of Vaccine Approaches for West Nile Virus
Open AccessArticle

Natural Exposure of Horses to Mosquito-Borne Flaviviruses in South-East Queensland, Australia

Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre, University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD 4078, Australia
School of Biochemistry & Molecular Biosciences, University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, Gatton, QLD 4343, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10(9), 4432-4443;
Received: 5 August 2013 / Revised: 9 September 2013 / Accepted: 10 September 2013 / Published: 17 September 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Epidemiology of West Nile Virus)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: flavivirus; equine; antibody response; mosquito-borne; encephalitis flavivirus; equine; antibody response; mosquito-borne; encephalitis
MDPI and ACS Style

Prow, N.A.; Tan, C.S.E.; Wang, W.; Hobson-Peters, J.; Kidd, L.; Barton, A.; Wright, J.; Hall, R.A.; Bielefeldt-Ohmann, H. Natural Exposure of Horses to Mosquito-Borne Flaviviruses in South-East Queensland, Australia. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 4432-4443.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Only visits after 24 November 2015 are recorded.
Back to TopTop