Research: Equine Influenza in Central Asia

With the world becoming a smaller place as animals and goods are transported across country boundaries, the United States has the potential to import equine health problems along with horses. A recent article entitled “Continuing evolution of equine influenza virus in Central Asia, 2007-2012” was published online April 20, 2014, in Archives of Virology from

Following is information from that research.


“Equine influenza (EI) continues to be an important respiratory pathogen of horses worldwide. Since 2007 several outbreaks of EI have occurred in Central Asian countries, including Kazakhstan, western Mongolia, India and western China. Phylogenetic analysis showed that two H3N8 equine influenza virus (EIV) isolates from Kazakhstan, A/equine/Almaty/26/2007 and A/equine/South Kazakhstan/236/12, were related to Florida sublineage 2, with high similarity to EIVs circulating in the same period in neighbouring countries. New outbreaks of EI during 2011 and 2012 in Kazakhstan and other Central Asian countries were caused by viruses of the same lineage. Genetic characterization of the viruses showed formation of a small EIV cluster with specific genetic signatures and continued evolution of this lineage in Central Asia between 2007 and 2012. The main genetic changes were observed in hemagglutinin gene without any antigenic drift. Although no vaccine policy was carried out in Kazakhstan, application of Florida clade 2-based vaccines is recommended.


Kobey Karamendin, A. Kydyrmanov, Y. Kasymbekov, E. Khan, K. Daulbayeva, S. Asanova, K. Zhumatov, A. Seiodalina, M. Sayatov, S.R. Fereidouni

The primary author is from the Laboratory of Viral Ecology, Institute of Microbiology and Virology, Almaty, Kazakhstan.

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