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Equine Coital Exanthema, qPCR - Equigerminal

Equine Coital Exanthema, qPCR

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Pathogen test 

  • The qPCR test detects the genome (DNA) of  Equine Herpesvirus Type 3 (EHV-3), the pathogen responsible for the Equine Coital Exanthema.

  • Molecular detection of EHV-3 by PCR is the most sensitive, specific and accurate tool in assessing the infectivity of an affected horse


  • 5 mL - blood - K3 EDTA tube
  • 1 genital swab - dry swab
  • 20 gr - placental or foetal tissue - sterile flask

Turnaround time

  • 2 to 5 working days


What is Equine Coital Exanthema?

  •  Equine Herpesvirus type 3 (EHV-3) causes coital exanthema, a contagious genital infection (vulva in mares, penis and scrotum in stallions), spread venereally and characterised by numerous small blisters or spots, sometimes called ‘the pox’.

Clinical signs

  • The clinical presentation of equine coital exanthema (ECE) is characterised by the presence of superficial lesions on the skin of the external genitalia of mares or stallions. The progress of each cutaneous lesion follows a well-defined and predictable course.


  • Infection by EHV-3 occurs via direct cutaneous contact either during the act of coitus or by the transfer of virus-containing secretions from contaminated objects, such as hands, gloves, instruments, palpation sleeves, sponges and the lips or nose of a horse.
  • The virus is easily transmitted by simple contact with the skin; the epidermal surface need not be damaged for infection to be established.


  • There is no commercial vaccine against EHV-3.
  • A stringent code of practice should be implemented within breeding sheds following observation of a case of ECE.
  • The three priorities necessary for successful ECE control are:
  • Cessation of breeding of clinically affected animals;
  • Heightened vigilance on the part of personnel for early recognition of new clinical cases;
  • Strict adherence to breeding shed hygiene procedures designed to eliminate mechanical transmission of the virus.