On April 29, one horse in Grant County, New Mexico, and one horse in Otero County, New Mexico, were confirmed to have the New Jersey serotype of Vesicular Stomatitis (VS) virus. The Grant County case is the 2015 index case for the United States; the two premises are currently quarantined.
The National Veterinary Services Laboratory (NVSL) in Ames, Iowa, confirmed the findings with a complement fixation (CF) antibody titer. The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) offers a CF assay, as well as a virus neutralization (VN) assay to test for Vesicular Stomatitis virus, and both are available at the full-service laboratories in College Station and Amarillo.
Two strains of the disease have historically been observed in the U.S., New Jersey (NJ) and Indiana-1 (Ind-1).
- VS panel (1:12 dilution), VN, requires 2 cc serum, $48 for in-state clients and $56 for out-of-state clients.
- VS virology panel, VN, 2 cc serum, $24 /$28.
- VS, IND, VN, 1 cc serum, $12 /$14.40.
- VS, NJ, VN, 1 cc serum, $12 /$14.40.
VS is a reportable, viral disease that primarily affects cattle, horses, mules, donkeys and swine, but may also affect sheep, goats, llamas and alpacas. Although the disease is considered zoonotic, handling affected animals rarely infects humans.
Though not foreign to the U.S., VS is not commonly found in livestock. The virus may be transmitted by gnats and flies, contaminated equipment or facilities, or through the movement of infected animals. The virus appears to spread from animal to animal by exposure to saliva or to fluid from ruptured lesions. The incubation period varies from 2-8 days with an average of 3-5 days.
The United States Department of Agriculture releases information on infectious diseases, like VS, at aphis.usda.gov. Information from the Texas Animal Health Commission can be found at tahc.texas.gov.
TVMDL works to protect animal and human health through diagnostics. For more information on testing, visit tvmdl.tamu.edu, or call the agency headquarters at 888.646.5623.