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Equine Infectious Anaemia reported in France

Christian Fernsby ▼ | May 27, 2020
France has reported an outbreak of equine infectious anaemia (EIA) affecting one horse in the Gard region in Southern France.
Horse France
Infectious   Horse France
This is the first reported outbreak in France this year. On 18 May, a 19 year old mare was reported to have EIA, following a positive result for the Coggin’s Test (OIE, 2020). The premises in Canaules et Argentières, held 11 susceptible animals in total.

Topics: Equine France

The affected horse has since been killed and disposed of and the outbreak investigation is ongoing. Disease control measures have been put in place and the holding is currently under restriction.

Equine infectious anaemia is reported periodically in equidae in Western Europe.

n the EU, two countries are considered endemic for EIA. These are Romania and Italy . Elsewhere this year, single outbreaks have been reported in Greece, Hungary and Bulgaria.

Last year, five outbreaks were reported in France, with cases also reported in Greece, Austria, Hungary and Bulgaria.

The internationally recognised trade test is the Coggins test, which is a serological test using immune-diffusion against a positive antiserum. It relies on reading the test after 24 to 48 hours and has high test sensitivity according to the OIE terrestrial manual.

Horses in the early stages of infection may not give a positive reaction and suspect cases that initially test negative should be retested 3 – 4 weeks later.

EIA is a disease that can remain clinically “silent” in infected horses for several years and then may become clinically apparent e.g. as a result of the horse being stressed, or may be detected when the horse is tested for routine surveillance.

The disease is slow spreading and can be transmitted sexually, iatrogenically (using surgical equipment without appropriate disinfection, infected blood products etc), and through mechanical vector transmission by biting flies.

The last outbreak of EIA in the UK was in 2012, when horses known to have originated in Romania several years previously, tested positive. There was no spread from these cases during the residency period in the UK, despite the presence of biting flies being likely during those five years.