Circulation of African horsesickness virus in zebra (Equus burchelli) in the Kruger National Park, South Africa, as measured by the prevalence of type specific antibodies

20 Jan 2014

In the Kruger National Park 75% of zebra foals are born in October-March and they lose their passive immunity against African horsesickness virus (AHSV) when they are 5-6 months old. One month later infection with different serotypes of AHSV amounts to 31% and thereafter infections increase rapidly to almost 100% before the foals are 12 months old. The capability of zebra to maintain AHSV is clearly illustrated by the continuing infections during every month of the year with a peak period in winter. This peak is ascribed to the presence of large numbers of susceptible foals in the presence of active Culicoides species.