Semen quality of stallions challenged with the Kentucky 84 strain of equine arteritis virus

Juliana R. Campos, Patrick Breheny, Reno R. Araujo, Mats H.T. Troedsson, Edward L. Squires, Peter J. Timoney, Udeni B.R. Balasuriya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Equine arteritis virus (EAV) is the causal agent of equine viral arteritis (EVA), a respiratory and reproductive disease of equids. Some strains of EAV can cause fever, leukopenia, and dependent edema of the limbs, scrotum, and preputium in the acutely infected stallion. We hypothesized that fever and scrotal edema observed during the acute phase of the infection, but not the presence of EAV, have an adverse effect on semen quality. A group of seven stallions were intranasally inoculated with the Kentucky 84 (KY84) strain of EAV. Stallions were monitored for clinical signs of EVA until 42days postinoculation (dpi). Semen was collected every other day for the first 15days and 2 times a week up to 79dpi. Additional samples were collected at 147, 149, and 151dpi. Semen from each stallion was evaluated on the basis of motion characteristics, total number of spermatozoa, membrane integrity, and morphology. Virus infectivity titers were determined in RK-13 cells. Significant decreases in sperm quality were observed between 9 and 76dpi. LOWESS (locally weighted scatterplot smoothing) curves for each horse were fit and integrated to quantify spermatozoa exposure to fever, virus, and edema over a period of 67days before each ejaculation. Linear mixed models were then fit to isolate the effects of each factor on semen quality. Scrotal edema and fever were found to exert independent effects on all the semen quality parameters (P≤0.002), whereas virus seems to exert little to no direct effect, as virus titers remained high long after semen quality returned to baseline.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1068-1079
Number of pages12
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Hildegard Rosa Shapiro Endowed Equine Research Fund endowment fund at the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center, Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky and the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative competitive grant number 2013-68004-20360 from the USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture . The authors would like to thank the staff at the University of Kentucky's Maine Chance Farm for their excellent care of the horses and Dr. Elizabeth Woodward at the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center for helping with the collection of clinical samples.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 Elsevier Inc.


  • EAV
  • EVA
  • Equine arteritis virus
  • Equine viral arteritis
  • Semen evaluation
  • Semen quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Small Animals
  • Food Animals
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Equine


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