A new study shows that the Zika and Dengue viruses are not only a threat for humans—horses can be infected with the viruses as well. Dr. Cécile Beck and a team of 13 scientists determined that horses can be infected with these viruses by testing horses in the South Pacific to determine how many mounted an immune response to the viruses.
Blood from 163 horses in New Caledonia and French Polynesia was drawn and tested for both viruses; the immune response to the Zika virus was 4.3 percent in New Caledonia and 15.4 percent in French Polynesia. Similarly, 6.1 percent of New Caledonia horses mounted an immune response to Dengue virus and 7.7 percent of the horses in French Polynesia had a response.
The study shows that horses can be infected with Dengue and Zika viruses; though many more humans that horses are infected with the viruses each year, the researchers recommend further investigation to determine the infections' role in the incidence and distribution as well as how to control the diseases. The role domestic animals play in the disease cycle of both viruses also warrants additional investigation.
Read the full study here.
Read more at HorseTalk.
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