UK Gluck Center and VDL Preliminarily Identify Novel Rotavirus

Efforts are underway to determine the role of the virus in a current outbreak of diarrheal disease in Central Kentucky foals.
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UK Gluck Center and VDL Preliminarily Identify Novel Rotavirus
UK researchers have preliminarily identified a novel rotavirus associated with diarrhea in very young foals. | Photo: Matt Barton/UK Agricultural Communications
Researchers at the University of Kentucky’s (UK) Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, in Lexington, have preliminarily identified a novel rotavirus associated with diarrhea in very young foals.

This virus could not be detected using current diagnostic tests for equine rotavirus A and appears to be different than the virus strain used in the currently available commercial vaccine.

Rotavirus is the most common viral cause of diarrhea in foals, especially foals one week to two months old. Efforts are underway to better characterize the virus and determine its role in a current outbreak of diarrheal disease in foals 2 to 7 days old in Central Kentucky. Additional investigations are also ongoing at UK to identify other possible causes, and researchers are sending out an epidemiological survey to farms to better understand the outbreak.

Both the Gluck Center and the Veterinary Diagnostic Lab recommend strict biosecurity protocols as the best protection strategy at this time.

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