Original Article

Insect bite hypersensitivity in Belgian warmblood horses: prevalence and risk factors

  • L. M. Peeters
  • S. Janssens
  • A. Coussé
  • N. Buys


Insect bite hypersensitivity (IBH) is an allergic reaction to the bites of certain Culicoides spp. or other insects. In this study, risk factors for IBH in Belgian warmblood horses stabled or grazing in Flanders (Belgium) were investigated. IBH records (n=3409) were collected in 2009 and 2011 using a questionnaire and face-to-face interviews. The classification of IBH-affected versus unaffected horses was based on the owner’s statement, and the reported IBH lifetime prevalence was 10%. Thirty eight percent of IBH affected horses had no clinical symptoms at the time of questioning. When only the presence or absence of clinical symptoms at the time of questioning was taken into account, the prevalence of IBH symptoms was 6.2%. Seventy percent of IBH-affected horses were treated with IBH measures to reduce clinical symptoms. Model selection was based on backwards elimination in a logistic regression framework starting with 17 factors. The age of the horse, vegetation of surrounding pasture and stud size were found to be significantly associated with the self-reported IBH status.

How to Cite:

Peeters, L. & Janssens, S. & Coussé, A. & Buys, N., (2014) “Insect bite hypersensitivity in Belgian warmblood horses: prevalence and risk factors”, Vlaams Diergeneeskundig Tijdschrift 83(5), 240-249. doi: https://doi.org/10.21825/vdt.v83i5.16636

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Published on
30 Oct 2014
Peer Reviewed