Posted by: genetika21 | 7 November 2007

AI in Indonesia, EI in Australia………….


Another FAQ series


Ini merupakan sumbangan salah satu kolega dokter hewan (drh Chandramaya Siska Damayanti, MSi) dengan sedikit tambahan dari saya. Mudah-mudahan dapat menambah wawasan kita dan juga membuat kita lebih terpicu untuk saling berbagi informasi dan pengetahuan.

Silahkan untuk menambahkan atau mengkoreksi informasi didalam tulisan ini!

Beberapa informasi yang penting tentang EI:

What is EI?
EI stands for Equine Influenza, or to make it easier to say, people called it Horse Flu.

What does cause EI?
Just like other flu diseases, EI is caused by influenza virus. The strain of influenza virus that causes EI is believed to be H3N8.

Is EI fatal to horse? What are the symptoms?
EI is a major viral respiratory disease which is highly contagious among horses. This EI virus produce more severe symptoms compare to other horse respiratory viruses (Equine Herpesvirus, Equine Adenovirus, and Equine Rhinovirus) with horses developing a fever and dry hacking cough. Horses become ill and reluctant to eat and drink for several days but usually recover in 2-3 weeks.

How can the virus spread among the horses?
This virus can be spread easily from horse to horse as a result of droplets and also from nasal discharge. The infected things, like infected rugs and brushes, can also spread the virus.

Can the virus jump to human or other species?
EI is harmless to human and there is no evidence of the virus jumping to human and there is no expectation of it doing so. But the Equine Influenza virus (H3N8) can jump to dogs (greyhound) and develop similar symptoms and could be mistaken for common “kennel cough”.

Can EI be cured?
Just like other viral diseases, there is no drug for EI. The infected horses will develop their own immunity to protect themselves from future infection. However, many horses develop secondary infection which caused by bacterial and can lead to pneumonia and other worse conditions. Good nursing and antibiotics, if necessary, are important part for treatment.

How can we prevent EI?
Vaccination is the best way to deal with this disease.

Is there any economical problem due to EI?
The outbreak of EI will have a very devastating effect in horse populations and huge financial loses for countries with high number of racing industries such as Australia.

Geographical distribution of EI in 2006

EI juldec 06

Geographical distribution of EI in 2007

EI juldec 07

EI status in Indonesia

Based on the OIE sites, EI is non notifiable disease in Indonesia and the disease never reported in Indonesia

From: many sources and map from WAHID, OIE sites

drh. Chandramaya Siska Damayanti, MSi



  1. Its a good review, bravo to Cmay and Andi.

    Just a feedback guys…!
    It is true that there is no evidence that EI can be transmitted from horse to human, there is a recent evidence that equine can be a potent reservoir of human influenza virus. Some horse sera samples were detected positive human influenza virus H1N1 and H3N2 in Brazil (Mancini, 2006). In this case, as a veterinarian we should consider that we can be the source of infection of our horses.

    Recently, the importance of EI is its mutated form into canine type H3N8 (CI). Because before 2004 there is no evidence of canine influenza cases, this is a very good example of mutated influenza virus. Even though the virus subtypes responsible to EI and CI are the same H3N8 but they have differences of some amino acid, so we call the virus as equine type H3N8 or canine type H3N8, instead of just H3N8. This mutated type has a very high pathogenicity in canine, and this cause a current outbreak in US, and some cases in UK.
    (So.. please welcome to the new emerging animal disease, canine type H3N8.)

    From above, we can see that horses can be a reservoir of human influenza virus. Meanwhile, canine can be the reservoir of equine influenza virus.
    If horses can be a reservoir of human influenza virus, it means that horses have the same cell receptor type with human influenza virus or human flu. If dogs can be reservoir of EI, it means that dogs also have the same cell receptor type with EI. From here we can see the importance of equine species as the point where influenza virus reassortant can be occured.

    Even though there were no evidence of transmission of EI to human, but it does not mean it’s impossible. As we know one of the characterisitics of influenza virus is its mutagenic ability. Right now the influenza virus is mutating, the researchers are trying hard to map the movement of influenza virus (I’m one of them :-)). The outbreak can happen at any time. So far the interspecies transmission of influenza virus always cause severer disease. Better understanding of new type viruses, investigating new evidences, be updated, be aware are necessary for us as a veterinarian for self-preparedness facing the coming outbreak.

    Please if there’s any comment, suggestion, correction, or chocolate, don’t be hesitate guys…


  2. Heh, baru baca ada komen dari ida setaun lalu….hehehehhe…thanks da!

    nb : yang nambahin tulisan di atas tuh ka Peb… 🙂

    dah setaun baru baca????? please deh may…..

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