Seroepidemiological Study of African Horse Sickness in Southern Ethiopia
by Open Science Repository Veterinary Medicine
Abstract: A cross-sectional study was carried out from November 2009 to mid of March 2010 to determine the seroprevalence of African horse sickness antibodies in the equine population of three selected districts - Damot Gale, Shashogo and Bonke Woredas - of the South Western Ethiopia. In total, 224 serum samples originating from 141 horses, 59 donkeys and 24 mules were collected. Indirect Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (I-ELISA) configuration was employed to determine the presence of African horse sickness virus (AHSV) antibodies. The total apparent prevalence was found to be 33.04% (74/224), indicating the spread of AHS virus throughout the study areas with horses, donkeys and mules experiencing 36.17%, 25.42% and 33.33% of prevalence, respectively. In all districts, the distribution of African horse sickness was observed with the prevalence ranging from 25% to 37.5%. In this study, agroecology was one of hypothesized risk factors accordingly; the prevalence in the lowland was 25%, in midland 35% and 37.5% in the highland. All equines between the age group of 4 months to > 20 years were sampled in this study, with their prevalence ranging from 20% to 34.46%. Out of total 224 samples, 187 serum samples were from male and 37 serum samples from female with prevalence of 34.22% (64/187) and 27.03% (10/37), respectively. In all hypothesized risk factors, the seroprevalence of AHS was statistically insignificant (p > 0.05). The findings of this study, 33.04% seroprevalence of AHS in equines of the selected study areas, suggest that AHS virus is circulating throughout the study areas, regardless of the hypothesized risk factors. Therefore, this result warns a need for detail and further epidemiological study that should be carried out, as well as comprehensive investigations to assess the economic impacts of the disease, so that the appropriate control measures can be put in place to combat further spread.
Keywords: African horse sickness, Equines, Damot Gale, Shashogo, Bonke, seroprevalence.