Ohio ADDL October Newsletter


Ohio Department of Agriculture   -   OCTOBER 2019

In this issue

Vector-borne disease update

Quarter Horse Congress

Visit to Plum Island

Upcoming Holiday

Contact us

Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory

8995 East Main Street

Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

Phone: (614) 728-6220

Fax: (614 ) 728-6310



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Excluding the following holidays:

  • New Years Day
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  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day
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Vector-borne Diseases Emerge in August and September: EEE, EHD, PHF, WNV

Dr. Jeff Hayes, MS, DVM, ADDL Section Head of Pathology & Interim Lab Co-Director

Ryan Cleland, senior LMU veterinary student  


The Ohio ADDL has confirmed the presence of four insect borne diseases in horses and white-tailed-deer since August 23, 2019, extending through 9/30/19.


Three horses have been confirmed with eastern equine encephalitis (EEE) virus infection in northeast Ohio, two horses in Ashtabula County – one on the east side of the county and one on the west side of the county – as well as one in Portage County. The Ashtabula County horses, one a 1-year old Morgan crossbred filly and the other a 3-year-old Belgian gelding, were confirmed by a positive IgM titer with a history of no vaccination and clinical signs consistent with EEE prior to dying spontaneously. The horse that died in Portage County, a 3.4-year-old American Standardbred gelding, also died with signs consistent with EEE and histopathology showed a meningoencephalomyelitis in sections of brain and spinal cord. EEE virus nucleic acid was detected in fresh spinal cord tissue by PCR assay. The earliest date of onset was 8/25/19, and clinical signs only lasted 2-3 days in all three cases.

Two horses from Stark and Morrow counties were demonstrated to be infected with west Nile virus (WNV) by IgM titers, a history of no prior vaccination, and compatible clinical signs. Serology results were reported on 9/20/19 for the first equine case this year in Ohio, a 12-year-old Quarterhorse from Stark County. The horse died after showing neurologic signs including ataxia in all 4 limbs, nystagmus with the fast phase to the left, flaccid muzzle, anorexia, acute weight loss, and red mucous membranes. The second infected horse, a 6-year-old Standardbred gelding in Morrow County, first showed clinical signs on 9/16/19 that included muscle fasciculations of the lips and shoulder, depression, ataxia and weakness of the rear limbs. The horse also had a fever of 103.4 F. This horse has responded to supportive treatment and survived as of this date.


Both EEE and WNV viruses are transmitted by mosquitos, and cycle normally between these insects and birds, with infections occurring in both horses and people as dead-end hosts of the virus. Thus, mosquito control is essential to control these virusesNews releases for both virus infections in horses with more information can be found at the ADDL website here and here.



Two horses that died in Hamilton County around Labor Day weekend were both confirmed to be infected with Neorickettsia risticii, the etiologic agent of Potomac Horse Fever, or equine monocytic ehrlichiosis. The diagnosis in each case was made by demonstrating nucleic acid of N. risticii in the feces and colon mucosal scrapings. Each horse suffered an acute course of illness with marked depression, laminitis, fever, and in one case diarrhea. Although the life cycle of N. risticii is complex, it is believed that horses often become naturally infected by ingesting infected aquatic insects such as caddisflies and mayflies that may be found dead and accumulate in pastures near rivers and streams, in feed near light sources and that get trapped on surfaces of drinking water.


2019 arbovirus map


There have been seven white-tailed-deer confirmed with epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) virus infection in six counties between 8/23/19 and 9/25/19, six involving wild deer and one case in a captive white-tailed-deer herd. Diagnosis has been confirmed in each case by detection of EHD genetic material in fresh retropharyngeal lymph node by PCR assay. Chilled spleen and lung are also good samples to test suspect cases. Counties in Ohio with positive EHD virus infected deer include Butler (captive and wild deer), Clermont, Knox, Logan, Morrow and Warren. EHD virus is transmitted to susceptible deer by the bites of small Culicoides midges.

Morrow County currently has the distinction of having two confirmed arboviral diseases, WNV in a horse, and EHD in a wild white-tailed-deer.

Quarter Horse

2019 All-American Quarter Horse Congress in Ohio

Anne Parkinson, BS, ADDL Serology and Central Receiving Section Head 

The All-American Quarter Horse Congress is the largest single breed horse show in the US with more than 17,000 entries and 6,000 horses. The 2019 show will be held at the Ohio Exposition Center in Columbus, Ohio and will run from Tuesday, October 1st thru Sunday, October 27th. The ADDL is prepared to provide Equine Infectious Anemia Virus (EIAV) testing 7 days a week in support of this show. Samples may be dropped off to the lab from 8AM to 5PM, M-F during normal business hours. The EIAV ELISA test results are provided on the SAME day for samples received by 12 noon weekdays. Samples received after noon will be reported the following day.

To arrange weekend, holiday or after-hours testing contact Anne Parkinson, Serology and Central Receiving Section Head, at 614-989-8036. For weekend/holiday submissions (including Monday - October 14th, Columbus Day) samples must arrive at the lab by 10 AM to receive same day results. Test costs are $5.50/sample, plus an $8.00 accession fee. For after-hours testing a $75.00 charge will be added to each accession. Cash, checks, or credit cards must accompany after-hours submissions.

To submit EIAV samples please use the Ohio Equine Infectious Anemia Test Record and include “Quarter Horse Congress” at the top of the form above the owner’s name. Serum samples for EIAV testing must be collected by a veterinarian that is licensed and accredited by the State of Ohio. Results for these submissions will be faxed to the submitting veterinarian at the Quarter Horse Congress Hall office. If you have questions during normal business hours please contact Anne Parkinson (Anne.Parkinson@agri.ohio.gov), 614-995-1495(direct office) - or call the main lab line at 614-728-6220.

Plum Island

ASF Outbreak Laboratory Response Course at Plum Island Animal Disease Center

Anne Parkinson, Central Receiving and Serology Section Head and ADDL emergency planner took part in a four-day African Swine Fever Outbreak Laboratory Response Course at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Orient Point, NY on July 29th- August 1st. The course was offered by the USDA National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) and sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Participants spent three days learning the principles of the FEMA Incident Command System Level 300 in a newly designed Level 300 format directed specifically towards laboratory emergency response. Dr. Leslie Cole - USDA Emergency Coordinator, and Mr. Jimmy Wortham – USDA ESF11 Coordinator, facilitated the event which culminated in a simulated response exercise that included representatives from USDA, DHS, FADDL, NVSL, and NAHLN member laboratories. Participants also were invited to enter into the biocontainment section of the Center to observe swine under study that were infected with African Swine Fever and to learn about clinical presentation, progression of the disease, and laboratory methods used to detect the presence of the disease. Additionally, a live video was initiated with representatives from USDA who are now in China observing the ASF outbreak to discuss the current status of the situation and how it is expected that the virus will circulate in swine populations.

Lab Closed Monday, October 14

The Ohio ADDL will be closed on Monday, October 14, 2019 in observance of Columbus Day.


For additional information and resources, please visit our website.  If you need to contact us regarding an urgent matter, please use our after hours phone number: (888) 456-3405.

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