Original Research

African horsesickness : transboundary diseases

B.J. Erasmus
Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research | Vol 76, No 1 | a71 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ojvr.v76i1.71 | © 2009 B.J. Erasmus | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 September 2009 | Published: 10 September 2009

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African horsesickness (AHS) played a major role in the history and development of southern Africa, both in times of peace and of war. Frequent epidemics of AHS resulted in major transportation impediments.
The viral (filterable) nature of the aetiological agent was proven in 1900 by Sir John M'Fadyean in London, making it one of the first animal diseases for which this had been demonstrated. Similarly, the cultivation of AHS virus in the brain of mice and its subsequent attenuation were also amongst the first such feats for animal viruses. Interestingly, both milestones followed the initial work of Max Theiler (son of Sir Arnold) with yellow fever virus.


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