Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

Review Article
Adv. Anim. Vet. Sci. 3 (2S): 32 - 53. Special Issue-2 (Reviews on Trends and Advances in Safeguarding Terrestrial /Aquatic Animal Health and Production)
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Sandip Kumar Khurana1*, Kuldeep Dhama2, Minakshi Prasad3, Kumaragurubaran Karthik4, Ruchi Tiwari5

1National Research Centre on Equines, Hisar, 125 001, Haryana, India; 2Division of Pathology, 4Divison of Bacteriology and Mycology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly, 243 122, Uttar Pradesh, India; 3Department of Biotechnology, College of Veterinary Sciences, LUVAS, Hisar, 125 004, Haryana, India; 5Department of Veterinary Microbiology, College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry, Uttar Pradesh Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Pashu Chikitsa Vigyan Vishwa Vidyalaya Evam Go-Anusandhan Sansthan (DUVASU), Mathura (UP) – 281001.

*Correspondence | Sandip Kumar Khurana, National Research Centre on Equines, Hisar, Haryana, India; Email:

The diseases of equines and other animal species that are shared between animals and humans come under the category of zoonotic diseases, and always put threat to veterinarians, animal handlers, animal health personnel and general public. These pose a greater threat to pregnant women, infants, children, immunocompromised and old persons, individuals with stress of antibiotic therapy, and other susceptible humans. Equines also play an important role in transmitting several zoonotic diseases causing human illnesses such as those caused by encephalitic alphaviruses, hendravirus, West Nile virus and equine rabies, salmonellosis, glanders, anthrax, methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection, brucellosis and Rhodococcus equi infections, therefore acts as substantial global health threat. Among these zoonotic threat agents, anthrax and glanders are also potential biological weapons and at times have been used as bio-terroristic agents also. The emergence and re-emergence of equine zoonotic pathogens have been observed from time to time. Antibiotic resistance is a hot topic around the globe at present and certain strains like MRSA, extended spectrum beta lactamase producing Enterobacteriacea can also be transmitted between horses and humans. These drug resistant strains pose greater threat to human beings. Rapid detection of the causative agents of zoonosis, close attention to personal hygiene, identification of potential fomites and vectors, and the use of protective clothing, newer therapeutics and vaccines may contribute to reduce the risk of zoonoses. Equines are used for antivenom and antitoxin production against various antigens, therefore the serum being obtained from equines should be properly screened for various pathogens either by serological methods or molecular assays which are specific for detection of zoonotic agents. The present review discusses several important aspects of zoonotic diseases of equines with special focus on the recent advances in their diagnosis and control.

Keywords | Equine zoonotic diseases, Diagnosis, Control