ISSN: 2223-2133 (Online), 1815-8986 (Print)
Vol 5. Number 1, November 2005
Screening thoroughbreds for antibodies to the equine infectious Anemia virus
Z. Asgarali
One hundred and seventy-two Thoroughbreds were screened for the presence of antibodies to the capsid protein, p26 of the equine infectious anemia (EIA) virus using the agarose gel immunodiffusion (AGID) Coggins test. Horses ranged in age from 1 month to 21 years old and were either imported or locally bred. The majority were involved in racing and breeding and were housed either at the Santa Rosa Racing Complex at Arima or at privately owned farms. Complete blood counts (CBCs) were performed on all horses. Low haemoglobin concentrations were found in 18 (10.5 %), high white blood cell counts in 17 (9.9 %) with neutrophilia in 13 (7.6 %). Low red blood cell counts were present in 28 (16.3 %) and high platelet counts were seen in 11 of 154 horses (7.1 %). At least 12 horses had evidence of clinical babesiosis, but only 7 were confirmed infected by examination of Giemsa stained blood smears. Racehorses from Trinidad and Tobago occasionally move inter-island for racing and increasingly Come in contact with foreign horses with the increasing importation of horses from countries known to harbour the virus. All 172 horses tested negative for antibodies to EIA virus. This implies that the strict adherence to import and quarantine regulations may have contributed to keeping the country free from the EIA virus. This ongoing study is the first to provide sero-prevalence data and document the prevalence of EIA in the equine population in Trinidad and Tobago.