Pathogenesis of Venezuelan equine encephalitis

Vet Microbiol. 2013 Nov 29;167(1-2):145-50. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2013.07.012. Epub 2013 Jul 22.


Equine encephalids have high mortality rates and represent a significant zoonotic public health threat. Of these the most pathogenic viruses to equids are the alphaviruses in the family Togaviridae. The focus of this review Venezualen equine encephalitis virus (VEEV) has caused the most widespread and recent epidemic outbreaks of disease. Circulation in naturally occuring rodent-mosquito cycles, results in viral spread to both human and equine populations. However, equines develop a high titer viremia and can transmit the virus back to mosquito populations. As such, the early recognition and control of viral infection in equine populations is strongly associated with prevention of epidemic spread of the virus and limiting of disease incidence in human populations. This review will address identification and pathogenesis of VEEV in equids vaccination and treatment options, and current research for drug and vaccine development.

Keywords: Equine encephalitis; Horse; Pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Encephalitis Virus, Venezuelan Equine / immunology
  • Encephalitis Virus, Venezuelan Equine / pathogenicity*
  • Encephalomyelitis, Venezuelan Equine / pathology
  • Encephalomyelitis, Venezuelan Equine / prevention & control
  • Encephalomyelitis, Venezuelan Equine / transmission
  • Encephalomyelitis, Venezuelan Equine / virology*
  • Horse Diseases / prevention & control
  • Horse Diseases / transmission
  • Horse Diseases / virology*
  • Horses
  • Humans
  • Zoonoses / virology