Equine Arteritis Virus Elicits a Mucosal Antibody Response in the Reproductive Tract of Persistently Infected Stallions

Mariano Carossino, Bettina Wagner, Alan T. Loynachan, R. Frank Cook, Igor F. Canisso, Lakshman Chelvarajan, Casey L. Edwards, Bora Nam, John F. Timoney, Peter J. Timoney, Udeni B.R. Balasuriya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Equine arteritis virus (EAV) has the ability to establish persistent infection in the reproductive tract of the stallion (carrier) and is continuously shed in its semen. We have recently demonstrated that EAV persists within stromal cells and a subset of lymphocytes in the stallion accessory sex glands in the presence of a significant local inflammatory response. In the present study, we demonstrated that EAV elicits a mucosal antibody response in the reproductive tract during persistent infection with homing of plasma cells into accessory sex glands. The EAV-specific immunoglobulin isotypes in seminal plasma included IgA, IgG1, IgG3/5, and IgG4/7. Interestingly, seminal plasma IgG1 and IgG4/7 possessed virus-neutralizing activity, while seminal plasma IgA and IgG3/5 did not. However, virus-neutralizing IgG1 and IgG4/7 in seminal plasma were not effective in preventing viral infectivity. In addition, the serological response was primarily mediated by virus-specific IgM and IgG1, while virus-specific serum IgA, IgG3/5, IgG4/7, and IgG6 isotype responses were not detected. This is the first report characterizing the immunoglobulin isotypes in equine serum and seminal plasma in response to EAV infection. The findings presented herein suggest that while a broader immunoglobulin isotype diversity is elicited in seminal plasma, EAV has the ability to persist in the reproductive tract, in spite of local mucosal antibody and inflammatory responses. This study provides further evidence that EAV employs complex immune evasion mechanisms during persistence in the reproductive tract that warrant further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00215-17
JournalClinical and Vaccine Immunology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was fully supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative competitive grant no. 2013-68004-20360 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. We acknowledge Bettina Wagner’s laboratory at Cornell University for the provision of the immunological reagents, Diane Furry for assistance with figure preparation, and Kathleen Shuck for proofreading the manuscript. We declare no conflicts of interest.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 American Society for Microbiology


  • EAV
  • EVA
  • equine arteritis virus
  • equine viral arteritis
  • humoral response
  • immune evasion
  • immunoglobulin isotype
  • mucosal immunity
  • neutralization
  • persistent infection
  • reproductive tract
  • seminal plasma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Microbiology (medical)


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