Seroprevalence and risk factor analysis for exposure to equine encephalosis virus in israel, palestine and jordan

Sharon Tirosh-Levy, Boris Gelman, Doni Zivotofsky, Lara Quraan, Evgeny Khinich, Abdelmajeed Nasereddin, Ziad Abdeen, Amir Steinman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Equine encephalosis virus (EEV) is an orbivirus transmitted by Culicoides species. Most infected horses show mild clinical signs and mortality is usually very low. EEV is closely related and similarly transmitted to other, more pathogenic and economically important, orbiviruses such as African horse sickness virus (AHSV), bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic haemorrhagic disease viruses (EHDV), and may serve as an indicator for possible transmission of the latter. Israel has been reported to be endemic for EEV since 2001. This study was initiated to re-evaluate the current seroprevalence and risk factors for EEV exposure in Israel, and to assess, for the first time, the seroprevalence of EEV in Palestine and Jordan. Three hundred and sixteen serum samples were collected from apparently healthy horses at 21 farms in Israel, 66 horses at nine farms in Palestine and 100 horses at three farms in Jordan. The presence of EEV antibodies was detected by a serum neutralization assay. Seroprevalence of EEV was 58.2% (184/316 horses) in Israel, 48.5% (32/66 horses) in Palestine and 2% (2/100 horses) in Jordan. Seroprevalence in Jordan was significantly lower than in Israel and Palestine (P < 0.001). The farm (P < 0.001) and horse age (P = 0.003) were found as significant risk factors for EEV exposure in Israel in multivariable statistical analysis. The results of this study further demonstrate that EEV is no longer limited to South Africa and is endemic in both Israel and Palestine and horses in Jordan were also exposed to this virus emphasizing the potential of pathogens to invade new ecological niches.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)82-90
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Medicine and Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 May 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors. Veterinary Medicine and Science Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • Arbovirus
  • Equine encephalosis virus
  • Horse
  • Seroprevalence


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