10 Years of Upper Respiratory Diseases in Horses

The ongoing Equine Respiratory Biosurveillance Program revealed new information on infectious respiratory disease threats, including EHV-1 and EHV-4, influenza, S. equi, equine rhinitis A/B viruses, and more. Here’s what you should know.

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upper respiratory diseases in horses
Through the biosurveillance program, researchers have learned that strangles is the most commonly diagnosed upper respiratory disease in horses 6-10 years of age. | Photo: iStock

On April 17 Merck Animal Health announced 10 years’ worth of key findings from its ongoing Equine Respiratory Biosurveillance Program.

Recognized as the largest equine infectious respiratory biosurveillance study ever compiled and comprising one of the largest collections of equine influenza isolates in the U.S., the program has provided new information on the major infectious upper respiratory diseases in horses.

Researchers on the ongoing study, which Merck is conducting in partnership with the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), School of Veterinary Medicine, gather data on equine herpesvirus types 1 and 4 (EHV-1 and EHV-4), equine influenza virus (EIV), and Streptococcus equi (S. equi or strangles)—which have been tracked from the study’s inception—along with equine rhinitis A/B viruses (ERAV/ERBV), which were was added in 2012

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