Equine piroplasmosis status in the UK: an assessment of laboratory diagnostic submissions and techniques

Coultous, R. M., Phipps, P., Dalley, C., Lewis, J., Hammond, T.-A., Shiels, B. R. , Weir, W. and Sutton, D. G.M. (2018) Equine piroplasmosis status in the UK: an assessment of laboratory diagnostic submissions and techniques. Veterinary Record, (doi:10.1136/vr.104855) (PMID:30413675) (Early Online Publication)

Coultous, R. M., Phipps, P., Dalley, C., Lewis, J., Hammond, T.-A., Shiels, B. R. , Weir, W. and Sutton, D. G.M. (2018) Equine piroplasmosis status in the UK: an assessment of laboratory diagnostic submissions and techniques. Veterinary Record, (doi:10.1136/vr.104855) (PMID:30413675) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

Equine piroplasmosis (EP) has historically been of minor concern to UK equine practitioners, primarily due to a lack of competent tick vectors. However, increased detection of EP tick vector species in the UK has been reported recently. EP screening is not currently required for equine importation, and when combined with recent relaxations in movement regulations, there is an increased risk regarding disease incursion and establishment into the UK. This study evaluated the prevalence of EP by both serology and PCR among 1242 UK equine samples submitted for EP screening between February and December 2016 to the Animal and Plant Health Agency and the Animal Health Trust. Where information was available, 81.5 per cent of submissions were for the purpose of UK export testing, and less than 0.1 per cent for UK importation. Serological prevalence of EP was 8.0 per cent, and parasite DNA was found in 0.8 per cent of samples. A subsequent analysis of PCR sensitivity in archived clinical samples indicated that the proportion of PCR-positive animals is likely to be considerably higher. The authors conclude that the current threat imposed by UK carrier horses is not adequately monitored and further measures are required to improve national biosecurity and prevent endemic disease.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Robert Coultous is supported by an HBLB research scholarship (VET/RS/254).
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Weir, Dr William and Shiels, Professor Brian and Coultous, Mr Robert and Sutton, Dr David
Authors: Coultous, R. M., Phipps, P., Dalley, C., Lewis, J., Hammond, T.-A., Shiels, B. R., Weir, W., and Sutton, D. G.M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Veterinary Medicine
Journal Name:Veterinary Record
Publisher:BMJ Publishing Group
ISSN:0042-4900
ISSN (Online):2042-7670
Published Online:09 November 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 British Veterinary Association
First Published:First published in Veterinary Record 2018
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the publisher copyright policy

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
694701Equine piroplasmosis: evaluating the threat to the UK and IrelandWilliam WeirHorserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB)VET/RS/254RI BIODIVERSITY ANIMAL HEALTH & COMPMED