Epizootic haemorrhagic disease

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 3
  • Abstract:

    Epizootic haemorrhagic disease (EHD) is an arthropod-transmitted viral disease of certain wild ungulates, notably North American white-tailed deer and, more rarely, cattle. The disease in white-tailed deer results from vascular injury analogous to that caused by bluetongue virus (BTV), to which EHD virus (EHDV) is closely related. There are seven serotypes of EHDV recognised, and Ibaraki virus, which is the cause of sporadic disease outbreaks in cattle in Asia, is included in EHDV serotype 2. The global distribution and epidemiology of BTV and EHDV infections are also similar, as both viruses occur throughout temperate and tropical regions of the world where they are transmitted by biting Culicoides midges and infect a wide variety of domestic and wild ungulates. However, the global distribution and epidemiology of EHDV infection are less well characterised than they are for BTV. Whereas most natural and experimental EHDV infections (other than Ibaraki virus infection) of livestock are subclinical or asymptomatic, outbreaks of EHD have recently been reported among cattle in the Mediterranean Basin, Reunion Island, South Africa, and the United States. Accurate and convenient laboratory tests are increasingly available for the sensitive and specific serological and virological diagnosis of EHDV infection and confirmation of EHD in animals, but commercial vaccines are available only for prevention of Ibaraki disease and not for protection against other strains and serotypes of EHDV.