Risk factors for insect bite hypersensitivity in Friesian horses and Shetland ponies in The Netherlands

Vet J. 2013 Mar;195(3):382-4. doi: 10.1016/j.tvjl.2012.06.037. Epub 2012 Jul 28.


Insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH) is an equine skin allergy caused by bites of Culicoides spp. and impacts on the welfare of affected horses. The aim of this study was to identify and quantify risk factors for IBH. Data from 3453 Friesian horse mares and 7074 Shetland pony mares scored for IBH by inspectors during obligatory foal inspections were analysed using breed-specific multivariable logistic regression models. The combined effect of month and year of scoring, Province and inspector were significantly associated with IBH in both breeds. In Shetland pony mares, withers height and coat colour were also significantly associated with IBH, while body condition had a nearly significant effect. The outcomes from this study on risk factors might contribute to the development of more efficient measures to reduce the prevalence of IBH.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Composition
  • Ceratopogonidae / immunology
  • Female
  • Horse Diseases / immunology*
  • Horse Diseases / pathology
  • Horses
  • Hypersensitivity / pathology
  • Hypersensitivity / veterinary*
  • Insect Bites and Stings / immunology
  • Insect Bites and Stings / pathology
  • Insect Bites and Stings / veterinary*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pigments, Biological
  • Risk Factors


  • Pigments, Biological