Kentucky's EIA Surveillance and Testing in 2010

During the 2010 calendar year, 95,384 serum samples were tested for equine infectious anemia (EIA) in Kentucky with no positive animals being discovered. Of these, 84,111 samples were collected and tested to comply with state regulations governing the sale and exhibition of horses in Kentucky or to meet interstate transportation requirements. In addition to these privately tested samples, another 11,273 samples were collected and tested as part of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture market surveillance program. Horses sampled and tested in this surveillance model are regarded as having an elevated risk of exposure due in part to the environment from which many of them originate and the trading channels they might have passed through.

During the 20-year period from 1991-2010, 325,913 samples were collected and tested through the Kentucky market surveillance program, with 108 horses (0.03%) found to be positive. In comparison, the private testing had greater than 1.9 million samples tested during this same time period, with 74 (0.004%) positive horses identified. Testing conducted during 2010 failed to identify positive equids in either of these populations.

The number of samples tested annually during the past 20 years is significant, and it provides data on two diverse classes of equids. The evidence suggests a decreased prevalence of this virus within Kentucky's equine population. The model further demonstrates that prolonged, consistent, and accurate disease surveillance among identifiable populations can be beneficial in determining prevalence and progression of emerging equine disease in identified groups as well as aid in decision making.

CONTACT: E.S. Rusty Ford, Equine Programs Manager, (502) 564-3956,, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Frankfort, Kentucky

This is an excerpt from Equine Disease Quarterly, funded by underwriters at Lloyd's, London, brokers, and their Kentucky agents.

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Equine Disease Quarterly

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