Clinical presentation and pathology of suspected vector transmitted African horse sickness in South African domestic dogs from 2006 to 2017

27 Nov 2018

African horse sickness (AHS) is a fatal vector transmitted viral disease of horses caused by the African horse sickness virus (AHSV). This disease is characterised by circulatory and respiratory failure, resulting from vascular endothelial injury affecting many organs. The susceptibility of dogs to AHS has been demonstrated in the past following experimental infection through consumption of infected horse meat. Thirty three clinical cases of AHS in dogs (cAHS) have been documented, without a history of ingesting infected horse meat, over a period of 12 years. The clinical cases included in this study presented with a history of acute respiratory distress syndrome or sudden death. The macroscopic and histological changes were mostly characterised by acute interstitial pneumonia, serofibrinous pleuritis and mediastinal oedema. Confirmation of cAHS was obtained by AHS specific NS4 antibody immunohistochemistry and/or AHSV specific duplex real time RT-quantitative PCR. Here, we document the clinical and postmortem diagnostic features of confirmed cAHS cases with no history of ingestion of AHS infected horse meat.