Equis ISSN 2398-2977


Contributor(s): Prof Derek Knottenbelt, Ruth Morgan


  • Serology is the identification of antibodies in bodily fluids, most commonly blood.
  • The antibodies may be against bacteria, viruses, other foreign proteins or self-proteins.
  • The most commonly used serology tests in equine practice are:
    • Detection of equine herpes virus.
    • Equine influenza virus.
    •  Streptococcus equivar equi(Strangles).
  • Serology can also be used in epidemiological studies to investigate exposure to diseases within a population.
  • The presence of antibodies to a pathogen indicates exposure and does not always demonstrate active infection.
  • Paired samples taken at two different time points are usually required to identify a rising antibody titer.


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Further Reading


Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Robinson C et al (2013) Combining two serological assays optimises sensitivity and specificity for the identification of Streptococcus equi subsp. equi exposure. Vet J 197 (2), 188-191 PubMed.
  • Lang A et al (2013) Development of a peptide ELISA for discrimination between serological responses to equine herpesvirus type 1 and 4. J Virol Methods 193 (2), 667-673 PubMed.