Keeping you at the forefront of
infectious upper respiratory disease

About the Merck Animal Health Equine Respiratory Biosurveillance Program.

During an acute outbreak of infectious upper respiratory disease, an accurate and timely diagnosis is critical to ensure proper treatment of affected horses. Pathogen identification is extremely important regarding effective management and biosecurity decisions and assessing vaccination programs.

The Merck Animal Health Equine Respiratory Biosurveillance Program offers veterinarians tools to sample horses with clinical signs of upper respiratory disease, so they can provide the most accurate and timely diagnosis possible to their clients.

Since 2008, Merck Animal Health in collaboration with the University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medicine (UC Davis) has been conducting a voluntary longitudinal study of the prevalence and epidemiology of relevant viral and bacterial respiratory pathogens in horses.

More than 12,000 samples from U.S. equids of numerous ages, genders, and breeds presenting with fever and signs of acute upper respiratory disease and/or acute neurological disease have been collected since the study began.

Samples are tested via quantitative PCR at UC Davis for six infectious upper respiratory disease pathogens:

  • Equine herpesvirus types 1 and 4 (EHV-1, EHV-4)
  • Equine influenza virus (EIV)
  • Streptococcus equi subspecies equi (Strangles)
  • Equine rhinitis A/B viruses (ERAV/ERBV)

The results are returned within 24 hours of receipt, allowing participating veterinarians to:

  • Provide a timely and accurate diagnosis for clients
  • Prescribe optimal treatment for horses with infectious upper respiratory disease
  • Make recommendations about vaccination, management, and biosecurity during an infectious respiratory disease outbreak, including the potential need for quarantine
  • Evaluate the efficacy of current vaccination protocols

Read past Equine Respiratory Biosurveillance Newsletters in our archive.

Current and past issues of the Merck Animal Health Equine Respiratory Biosurveillance Newsletter.