The PCR test detects the genome (DNA) of Equine Herpesvirus Type 1 (EHV-1).
- 1 nasopharyngeal swab ( see AAEP guidelines)
- 5 mL - liquor (CSF) - sterile tube
- 5 mL - K3 EDTA tube
- 2 to 5 working days
What is Herpesvirus Type 1?
- Equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) infection is ubiquitous in most horse populations throughout the world, and causes disease in horses and extensive economic losses through frequent outbreaks of respiratory disease, abortion, neonatal foal death, and myeloencephalopathy.
- Infections caused by EHV-1 are particularly common in young performance horses, and typically result in establishment of latent infection within the 1st weeks or months of life with subsequent viral reactivation causing clinical disease and viral shedding during periods of stress.
Relevant effects of this virus on the equine population:
- Sporadic occurrence of mild respiratory disease associated with pyrexia, principally affecting horses under 2 years of age, can lead to interruptions in athletic training programs; this is economically the least important manifestation of EHV-1 disease.
- Abortion occurring during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, results in important economic losses.
- Outbreaks of neurological disease (equine herpes myeloencephalopathy or EHM) cause suffering and loss of life and also lead to extensive movement restrictions, disrupting breeding or training schedules and causing management difficulties at training centers, race tracks, and horse events.
- The most common way for EHV-1 to spread is by direct horse-to-horse contact.
- This virus is shed from infected horses via the respiratory tract or through direct or indirect contact with an infected aborted foetus and fetal membranes.
- Horses may appear to be perfectly healthy yet spread the virus via the secretions from their nostrils.
- It is important to realize that EHV-1 can also be spread indirectly through contact with physical objects contaminated with infectious virus.
- The air around a horse that is shedding the virus can also be contaminated with infectious virus.
- Subdivide horses into the small epidemiologically isolated closed groups.
- Minimize risks of exogenous and endogenous (stress- induced viral reactivation) introduction of EHV-1.
- Maximize herd immunity through vaccination.
- Important measures in the case of an EHV-1 outbreak:
- Disinfection of areas contaminated by virus from the aborted foetus and placental membranes.
- Isolation of affected horses.
- Submission of clinical samples to a diagnostic laboratory.
- Implementation of hygienic procedures to prevent spread of infection (biosecurity).