Equine infectious anaemia (EIA) is an infectious and potentially fatal viral disease affecting the immune system of members of the Equidae family, including horses, donkeys and mules.
Most EIA-infected horses show no clinical signs of disease; however, they remain carriers of the virus for life and can be a source of infection for susceptible animals.
In Canada, EIA is listed as a reportable disease under the Health of Animals Regulations. Accordingly, when EIA is suspected, it must be reported to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA).
Information CFIA provides for the general public includes:
Information CFIA provide for producers and the livestock sector includes:
- Canadian Equine Infectious Anemia Control Program
- Equine Infectious Anemia - Test and Reactor Reports
- Fact Sheet
- Pathogen Safety Data Sheet
Excerpt from the CFIA Accredited Veterinarian Program
8.4 Equine Infectious Anemia
This module describes the disease, the policy, the tests, the forms and the distribution of the results for equine infectious anemia (EIA).
1. EIA is a viral disease of equines characterized by a variable clinical course, including fever, jaundice, anorexia, depression, muscle weakness and wasting, edema of the ventral abdomen and legs, lifelong persistence of virus in the infected animal, and pathological changes which are immunologically mediated.
2. A tentative diagnosis of the disease may be made on clinical signs. Confirmation is by means of the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) or other official test. The test is performed on equine serum.
3. EIA is a reportable disease and was made reportable under the Health of Animals Act in 1972-the year a reliable test for the disease became available. At that time the disease was considered to be endemic throughout the northern areas of the country and the reactor rate was approximately 2.9%.
4. EIA suspects and reactors must be reported to the CFIA. Confirmed reactors are handled in accordance with National Animal Health Program requirements. A CFIA veterinarian will take appropriate measures in consultation with the owner of the reactor equine to prevent exposure of other equines to infection. Measures taken in the case of non-clinical animals are isolation of the equine or destruction with compensation. Clinically affected equines are required to be destroyed with compensation. Funding for the National Control Program originates from an industry supported fund collected as a check-off fee on samples submitted for EIA analysis at accredited laboratories.
5. All equines (horse, ass, mule, or zebra) are test eligible, regardless of age or sex.
6. Before taking the blood sample, always advise the owner of the consequences of a positive