Twelve nasal swabs were collected from yearling horses with respiratory distress and tested for equid herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) and equid herpesvirus 4 (EHV-4) by real-time PCR targeting the glycoprotein B gene. All samples were negative for EHV-1; however, 3 were positive for EHV-4. When these samples were tested for EHV-2 and EHV-5 by PCR, all samples were negative for EHV-2 and 11 were positive for EHV-5. All three samples that were positive for EHV-4 were also positive for EHV-5. These three samples gave a limited CPE in ED cells reminiscent of EHV-4 CPE. EHV-4 CPE was obvious after 3 days and was characterised by syncytia. None of the samples produced cytopathic effect (CPE) on African green monkey kidney (Vero) cells or hamster kidney (BSR) cells. Four of the samples, which were positive in the EHV-5 PCR, produced CPE on rabbit kidney (RK13) cells and equine dermis (ED) cells. EHV-5 CPE on both cell lines was slow and was apparent after four 7-day passages. On RK13 cells, the CPE was characteristic of equid herpesvirus, with the formation of syncytia. However, in ED cells, the CPE was characterised by ring-shaped syncytia. For the first time, a case of equine respiratory disease involving dual infection with EHV-4 and EHV-5 has been reported in Queensland (Australia). This was shown by simultaneously isolating EHV-4 and EHV-5 from clinical samples. EHV5 was recovered from all samples except one, suggesting that EHV5 was more prevalent in young horses than EHV2.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2008
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