Prevalence and risk factors for Equine Infectious Anemia in Poconé municipality, northern Brazilian Pantanal.
There appears to be a lack of information concerning responses of mules to natural infection or experimental inoculation with equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV). In the present study EIAV was isolated from mules, for the first time, and its pathogenicity in naturally infected and experimentally inoculated animals was investigated. Two naturally infected (A and B) and three EIAV free mules (C, D and E) were used for this purpose. Mule A developed clinical signs, whereas mule B remained asymptomatic until the end of the study. Mules C and D were each inoculated with 10ml of blood from mule A and developed signs of the disease; they were euthanatized or died at day 22 and 25 post-inoculation, respectively. Mule E served as a negative control. The virus was isolated from the plasma samples of mules with clinical signs of the disease (A, C and D), but not from the asymptomatic mule B. Both proviral DNA and viral RNA were amplified from blood and tissues of the infected animals by nested polymerase chain reaction (nPCR). Antibodies were not detected in the two experimentally infected mules until their natural death or euthanasia. Clinicopathological and laboratory findings showed that, in mules, EIAV produced clinical signs similar to those observed in horses and ponies. Nested PCR proved to be a rapid, sensitive and specific diagnostic method for the detection of EIAV, regardless of the disease stage.