Equine infectious anemia (EIA)

What is equine infectious anemia?

Equine infectious anemia (EIA) is a bloodborne infection that affects horses and other members of the Equidae family, such as ponies, donkeys, and mules. Clinical signs in affected animals may be minimal or could include recurring fever and anemia. Infection typically persists for the life of the animal. Infected animals are also at risk of transmitting the disease to other animals through blood transfer, including contact with biting insects. No vaccines or treatments are currently available to prevent or treat EIA.

How is equine infectious anemia diagnosed in the laboratory?

A blood test, often called a Coggins test, is the standard method to diagnose EIA. At WADDL, we run the VMRD EIA ELISA and EIA AGID tests. Any non-negative sample will be sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories in Ames, Iowa, for further confirmatory testing.

Who can submit samples for equine infectious anemia testing?

Blood for EIA testing must be collected and submitted by an accredited veterinarian to an accredited lab such as WADDL. Veterinarians must obtain USDA Category II Accreditation prior to submitting samples for EIA testing. Information about obtaining accreditation can be found at https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/nvap.

Owner submissions will be rejected.

What forms are required for equine infectious anemia testing?

Along with the WADDL online submission form, we require either a paper EIA form or an electronic submission form.

WADDL accepts paper EIA forms (VS 10-11, version February 2018 or later), which can be obtained from your APHIS-VS district office (see list of offices)

Paper forms dating earlier than February 2018 will be rejected.

WADDL also accepts electronic official EIA submission forms from Global Vet Link (GVL)Veterinary Services Process streamlining (VSPS), or Oregon Veterinarian Information System (OVIS).

All form information/data points are required and must be filled in. If there is no response for a field, then “none,” “NA,” or a line through the field must appear on the form. Fields must not be left blank.

Submissions from veterinarians without an official form will not be tested until accurately completed forms are received.

Where can I get more information about equine infectious anemia testing?

If you have additional questions regarding EIA submissions to WADDL, please contact David de Avila at 509-335-9696.

For Washington residents, questions regarding EIA can also be addressed to Dr. Maura Gibson at Maura.E.Gibson@usda.gov.

Page revised October 2022

Categories: Horses