Experimental infection with neuropathogenic equid herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) in adult horses

Lutz S. Goehring, C. Van Maanen, Marcel Berendsen, Ann Cullinane, Raoul J. De Groot, Peter J.M. Rottier, Jeroen J.C.M. Wesselingh, Marianne M. Sloet van Oldruitenborgh-Oosterbaan

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34 Scopus citations


Equid herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1)-associated myeloencephalopathy (EHM) may follow an infection with the virus in horses. This study tested three hypotheses: (1) a large inhaled dose of a neuropathogenic EHV-1 strain would induce a cell-associated viraemia in all infected horses; (2) neurological disease will only occur in viraemic horses, and (3) the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) composition following EHV-1 viraemia will be an indicator for EHM.Four EHV-1 seronegative horses were inoculated with EHV-1 by inhalation. Three developed clinical signs of neurological disease, which were mild in two horses and lacking typical EHM histopathological findings, but moderately severe in the third horse. This latter animal was the only one found to be viraemic, with xanthochromic CSF and spinal cord histopathology findings characteristic of EHM. This study showed that cell-associated viraemia was not guaranteed, despite a large-dose inoculation with EHV-1, yet viraemia was probably a pre-requisite for subsequent development of EHM. The histopathological changes used to confirm EHM may be predicted from CSF analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-187
Number of pages8
JournalVeterinary Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2010


  • Adult horse
  • Cerebrospinal fluid analysis
  • Infection experiment
  • Neuropathogenic EHV-1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • General Veterinary


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