Novel Rotavirus identified in Kentucky

The new virus strain is undetectable with current diagnostic tests and appears different than the type controlled by available vaccines; role in current outbreak is still unclear
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Researchers at the University of Kentucky’s Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center and the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory have preliminarily identified a novel Rotavirus associated with diarrhea in very young foals.

Mare and foal in straw bedding

A novel strain of Rotavirus may play a role in a current outbreak of diarrhea in newborn 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.

Efforts are underway to better characterize the virus and determine its role in the current outbreak of diarrheal disease. Additional investigations are also underway 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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