Development of a protocol for the molecular serotyping of the African horse sickness virus.
Groenink, Shaun Reinder.
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African horse sickness (AHS) is a viral disease with high mortality rates, vectored by the Culicoides midge and affecting members of the Equidae family. AHS is endemic to South Africa, and, as a result, affects export and international competitiveness in equine trade, and impacts significantly on the South African racehorse and performance horse industries. AHS also has devastating consequences for rural and subsistence equine ownership. The protocol developed in this dissertation has the potential to serotype and confirm the AHS virus within a few hours at significantly less cost than current methods. It will ease the financial and time constraints of studying an outbreak in real time and has the potential to solve many of the unknown factors surrounding AHS, particularly and most importantly, the role that each serotype plays in outbreaks and the form of the disease contracted by horses.