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Forskningsartikel2015Vetenskapligt granskad

Viral load of equine herpesviruses 2 and 5 in nasal swabs of actively racing Standardbred trotters: Temporal relationship of shedding to clinical findings and poor performance

Back H, Ullman K, Berndtsson LT, Riihimäki M, Penell J, Ståhl K, Valarcher JF, Pringle J


The equine gamma herpesviruses 2 and 5 (EHV-2 and -5) have frequently been observed in the equine population and until recently presumed low to nonpathogenic. However, recent reports linking presence of equine gamma herpesviruses with clinical signs of mild to severe lung disease, suggest that the role of these viruses in respiratory disease and poor performance syndrome is still unclear. Moreover, baseline data regarding the temporal pattern of shedding of EHV-2 and EHV-5 within stables and within individual actively racing horses have been lacking. In a prospective longitudinal study, we followed elite racing Standardbred trotters at monthly intervals for 13 months, to investigate whether the amount of EHV-2 and EHV-5 shedded in nasal secretions varied over time within and between individual horses. Sixty-six elite horses were investigated by analyzing nasal swabs and serum samples, a health check and evaluation of athletic performance monthly during the study period. Nasal swabs were analyzed with two newly developed qPCR assays for EHV-2 and EHV-5, respectively. Of 663 samples, 197 (30%) were positive for EHV-2 and 492(74%) positive for EHV-5. Furthermore, 176(27%) of the samples were positive for both EHV-2 and EHV-5 simultaneously. There was considerable variation in the amount and frequency of shedding of EHV-2 and EHV-5 within and between individual horses. Viral load varied seasonally, but neither EHV-2 nor EHV-5 viral peaks were associated with clinical respiratory disease and/or poor performance in racing Standardbred trotters. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


EHV-2; EHV-5; Horse; Viral load; qPCR; Gamma herpesvirus

Publicerad i

Veterinary Microbiology
2015, Volym: 179, nummer: 3-4, sidor: 142-148