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Equine Encephalosis Virus, RT-qPCR - Equigerminal

Equine Encephalosis Virus, RT-qPCR

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Pathogen test 

  • The RT-qPCR test detects the genome (RNA) of Equine Encephalosis virus (EEV).


  • 5 mL - blood - K3 EDTA tube
  • 5mL - liquor (CSF) - sterile tube

Turnaround time

  • 2 to 5 working days


What is Equine Encephalosis Virus?

  • Equine Encephalosis (EE) is an arthropod borne febrile non contagious disease of equines.
  • The causative virus, Equine encephalosis virus (EEV), has several serotypes (EEV1-EEV7) and the virus has been reported from southern Africa including Kenya, Botswana and South Africa.

Clinical signs

  • The name equine encephalosis is misleading as the disease is not primarily a neurological disorder. Although the majority of infections result only in mild clinical signs, in more severe cases clinical signs include a short period (typically two to five days) of fluctuating fever, accompanied by varying degrees of inappetence Elevated heart and respiratory rates are also common, and occasionally as a result of nasal congestion, a red-brown discolouration of the mucous membranes may be observed.


  • Although rare, more severe clinical signs may occur including facial swelling (lips and eyelids), respiratory distress, and petechial haemorrhages of the conjunctivae. Pregnant mares may also abort during their first 5 months of gestation.

  • Neurological signs are atypical, but in certain cases hindquarter ataxia, convulsions, hyper-excitability, and depression have been reported. The mortality rate is normally low, accounting for only 5% of infected animals.


  • EEV is transmitted by Culicoides spp. All Equidae may be infected, but only horses exhibit symptoms.
  • Serological evidences in endemic countries indicate that zebras and donkeys might maintain EEV circulation; however, their true role in the transmission is still unknown


  • In the vast majority of cases (c. 90%) the animal will recover without further complications, and a course of anti-inflammatories or appetite stimulants may be administered.

  • Occasionally, antibiotics are prescribed in order to prevent the appearance of secondary infections. Some equids show no clinical signs at all but are biliary carriers. Although in this instance the animal is not in immediate danger, it must be treated in order to prevent the reemergence of the virus were the immune system to be challenged by another disease simultaneously.

  • Due to the absence of an effective vaccine, vector control remains one of the primary methods of prevention. Control of the midges is usually only instigated for domesticated stabled horses, and includes precautionary measures such as the limited use of lights at night, as well as the use of fly repellents and fans.