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Open AccessReview

African Horse Sickness: A Review of Current Understanding and Vaccine Development

Biopharming Research Unit, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7701, Cape Town, South Africa
Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, Observatory 7925, Cape Town, South Africa
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Viruses 2019, 11(9), 844;
Received: 31 July 2019 / Revised: 30 August 2019 / Accepted: 4 September 2019 / Published: 11 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Equine Viruses)
African horse sickness is a devastating disease that causes great suffering and many fatalities amongst horses in sub-Saharan Africa. It is caused by nine different serotypes of the orbivirus African horse sickness virus (AHSV) and it is spread by Culicoid midges. The disease has significant economic consequences for the equine industry both in southern Africa and increasingly further afield as the geographic distribution of the midge vector broadens with global warming and climate change. Live attenuated vaccines (LAV) have been used with relative success for many decades but carry the risk of reversion to virulence and/or genetic re-assortment between outbreak and vaccine strains. Furthermore, the vaccines lack DIVA capacity, the ability to distinguish between vaccine-induced immunity and that induced by natural infection. These concerns have motivated interest in the development of new, more favourable recombinant vaccines that utilize viral vectors or are based on reverse genetics or virus-like particle technologies. This review summarizes the current understanding of AHSV structure and the viral replication cycle and also evaluates existing and potential vaccine strategies that may be applied to prevent or control the disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: African horse sickness; virus structure; replication; vaccine strategies African horse sickness; virus structure; replication; vaccine strategies
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Dennis, S.J.; Meyers, A.E.; Hitzeroth, I.I.; Rybicki, E.P. African Horse Sickness: A Review of Current Understanding and Vaccine Development. Viruses 2019, 11, 844.

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