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Clinical presentation and pathology of suspected vector transmitted African horse sickness in South African domestic dogs from 2006 to 2017
  1. Nicolize O’Dell1,
  2. Luke Arnot2,
  3. Chris Eric Janisch3 and
  4. Johan CA Steyl1
  1. 1 Department of Paraclinical Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
  2. 2 Production Animal Studies, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
  3. 3 Pyramid Animal Clinic, Pretoria, South Africa
  1. E-mail for correspondence; nicolize.odell{at}


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.

  • African horse sickness
  • canine
  • pathology
  • diagnosis
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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Correction notice This article has been corrected since it was published Online First. In the Abstract, ’Thirty three' has been added to the start of the sentence "clinical cases of AHS in dogs (cAHS) have been documented…" after being accidentally omitted.

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