The equine influenza virus is the causal agent of influenza in horses. In July 2006, horses from various regions of Chile presented fever, serious nasal discharge, dry cough, anorexia and depression. Here we describe the isolation and characterization of the virus responsible for this outbreak. The virus was identified as equine influenza virus H3N8, since haemagglutination was inhibited by an anti-A/equi/1/H3N8 serum, but not by an anti-A/equi/1/H7N7 serum. The isolate was named A/equi/2/Lonquén/06 (H3N8). In addition, we describe the isolation and sequencing of the haemagglutinin, neuraminidase and nucleoprotein genes of this new isolate. Sequence alignments show important differences with the Santiago/85 isolate and a closer relation to North American isolates, especially with the Florida lineage, and to Argentina isolates from 1990s.
- Equine influenza virus
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