Equid herpesvirus-1 distribution in equine lymphoid and neural tissues 70 days post infection

Susanna Samoilowa, Kim S. Giessler, Carlos E. Medina Torres, Gisela Soboll Hussey, Allison Allum, Robert Fux, Christin Jerke, Matti Kiupel, Kaspar Matiasek, Dodd G. Sledge, Lutz S. Goehring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Equid herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) causes respiratory disease, abortion and myeloencephalopathy in horses worldwide. As member of the Alphaherpesvirinae, latency is key to EHV-1 epidemiology. EHV-1 latent infection has been detected in the trigeminal ganglion (TG), respiratory associated lymphoid tissue (RALT) and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) but additional locations are likely. The aim of this study was to investigate the distribution of viral DNA throughout the equine body. Twenty-five horses divided into three groups were experimentally infected via intranasal instillation with one of three EHV-1 viruses and euthanized on Day 70, post infection. During necropsy, TG, various sympathetic/parasympathetic ganglia of head, neck, thorax and abdomen, spinal cord dorsal root ganglia, RALT, mesenteric lymph nodes, spleen and PBMC of each horse were collected. Genomic viral loads and L-(late) gene transcriptional activity in each tissue and PBMC were measured using qPCR. In addition, immunohistochemistry (IHC) was applied on neural parenchyma tissue sections. EHV-1 DNA was detected in many neural and lymphoid tissue sections, but not in PBMC. L-gene transcriptional activity was not detected in any sample, and translational activity was not apparent on IHC. Tissue tropism differed between the Ab4 wild type and the two mutant viruses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number707
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by the Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation, Inc., Lexington KY, grant number 2016#306.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • EHV-1
  • Herpesviruses
  • Horse
  • Latency
  • Lymphoid tissue
  • Trigeminal ganglia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Molecular Biology
  • Immunology and Microbiology (all)
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Infectious Diseases


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