Hendra Virus Vaccine, a One Health Approach to Protecting Horse, Human, and Environmental Health


While the full article by the CDC is science heavy, the abstract published here points out the important connection between bats, horses, humans and infection. Development and use of vaccines is important to the health of us all. ~ HfH

From: Center for Disease Control and Prevent: EID Journal


Vaccinating horses

Photo courtesy of Horse Journal: http://horse-journal.com/

In recent years, the emergence of several highly pathogenic zoonotic diseases in humans has led to a renewed emphasis on the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health, otherwise known as One Health. For example, Hendra virus (HeV), a zoonotic paramyxovirus, was discovered in 1994, and since then, infections have occurred in 7 humans, each of whom had a strong epidemiologic link to similarly affected horses. As a consequence of these outbreaks, eradication of bat populations was discussed, despite their crucial environmental roles in pollination and reduction of the insect population. We describe the development and evaluation of a vaccine for horses with the potential for breaking the chain of HeV transmission from bats to horses to humans, thereby protecting horse, human, and environmental health. The HeV vaccine for horses is a key example of a One Health approach to the control of human disease.

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AUTHOR: Amber Barnes
  • Robynne Catheron

    Unless I don’t fully understand the gravity of this emerging virus, it seems pretty early in the game to rush out and buy this vaccine for my horses. The numbers affected are extremely low, and it sounds like more research is in order. I haven’t vaccinated my horses in years, for several reasons; one, negative reactions to the vaccines are much more common than the threat of disease; two, many researchers have proven that vaccines typically last much longer in the system than previously thought. For example, tetanus vaccine in humans is good for at least ten years, and there is no reason to think the same isn’t true for horses. Lastly, I’m inclined to believe far too many conventional veterinarians are stuck in a paradigm, in an all-fired hurry to inject chemicals into our horses, unwilling or unable to open their minds to new research or alternative thinking.
    That said, I really appreciate this new information about a potentially dangerous virus. We can always count on Habitat for Horses to keep us up to date on issues within the equine community. Thank you!

    January 18, 2014
  • Robyn Persichitte Gipp

    Excellent comment Robynne.
    I am glad you brought this up. I have felt
    the same way regarding my dogs and horses.
    Over vaccinating our dogs is a huge health
    threat. I feel the same could be in our

    January 18, 2014