The equine influenza virus (EIV) is a major pathogen of respiratory diseases in horses, donkeys and mules. Equine influenza (EI) is characterized by a very rapid spread and remains a disease with high economic stakes for the equine industry. A large‐scale outbreak caused by equine influenza virus of the H3N8 subtype has occurred in each decade since an H3N8 was first isolated from horses in 1963. Each epidemic, and some minor outbreaks, has influenced equine influenza surveillance and vaccination policies in the world. The use of the molecular tools is of a high interest in epidemiology. The interest of the association of these techniques and the classical epidemiological analyses will be illustrated by taking the example of equine influenza viruses. The determination and the comparison of the nucleotide sequences allow to characterize the virus strains more precisely than the classical methods and are useful to analyze the evolution of the equine influenza viruses. These methods are also useful to select the relevant strains that will be used in the vaccines. The possible reasons for the infection of horses despite intensive vaccination are currently being investigated and may shed new light on the epidemiology of equine influenza.
Part of the book: Epidemiology of Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases