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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

versión On-line ISSN 2224-9435
versión impresa ISSN 1019-9128


MOLINI, U et al. Neutralising antibodies to West Nile virus detected in horses in Windhoek, Namibia. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2022, vol.93, n.1, pp.1-3. ISSN 2224-9435.

West Nile virus (WNV) is a vector-borne virus maintained in nature by a bird-mosquito cycle. However, it can occasionally and accidentally infect horses and human beings, leading to sometimes severe or even fatal outcomes in these species. Therefore, the monitoring of its circulation and disease occurrence is of relevance. Unfortunately, it is underdiagnosed or not diagnosed in several African counties, including Namibia, where no data is currently available for horses. In this study, 98 horses in three different stables in the Windhoek city area were investigated. They were found to have a seroprevalence of approximately 7%. Positive reactions were seen at all three stables, suggesting a greater than expected prevalence of the virus. This is the first report of serological evidence for the presence of the virus in horses in Nambia. Even though clinical signs were not reported in any of the stables from which the sera were derived, the seroprevalence to the virus suggests that horses with high genetic and/or economic value could benefit from vaccination against WNV. Because of the zoonotic potential of the virus, these findings are also of significance to human health authorities.

Palabras clave : West Nile virus; Windhoek; Namibia; antibody; horses; cELISA.

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