Evidence of African horse sickness virus infection of Equus zebra hartmannae in the south-western Khomas Region, Namibia
Van Hamburg, H.
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Equine mortalities suspected to be due to African horse sickness (AHS) were reported from the arid Khomas Region, Namibia, in 2008. The area was previously considered a localized AHS-free area. Hartmann's mountain zebra (Equus zebra hartmannae), a potential but unconfirmed reservoir host of African horse sickness virus (AHSV), occurs in the region. Between 2009 and 2010 serum, blood and tissue samples from 31 culled E. z. hartmannae were analysed by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) (n = 31) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) (n = 18) to determine the presence of AHSV and/or antibodies against AHSV. The presence of antibodies against AHSV was demonstrated in all 18 samples assayed, and AHSV double stranded RNA was detected in 26% of the animals. This is evidence that E. z. hartmannae can become infected with AHSV