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Equine Herpesvirus Type 2, qPCR - Equigerminal

Equine Herpesvirus Type 2, qPCR

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Pathogen test 

  • The qPCR test detects the genome (DNA) of  Equine Herpesvirus Type 2 (EHV-2).

  •  Serological detection of EHV-2 is of limited use to determine the re-activation of this herpesvirus. EHV-2 can remain latent in affected animals while shedding at levels adequate to infect other horses. Molecular detection of EHV-2 by qPCR is the most sensitive, specific and accurate tool in assessing the infectivity of an affected horse.


  • 1 nasopharyngeal swab - dry swab
  • 5 mL - K3 EDTA tube
  • 5 mL - liquor (CSF) - sterile tube

Turnaround time

  • 2 to 5 working days


What is Herpesvirus Type 2?

  • Equine Herpesvirus Type1 2 (EHV-2) was recently classified within the Gammaherpesvirinae subfamily. EHV-2 is widely spread in horse populations and it has been isolated from healthy animals as well as from horses with different clinical signs.
  •  EHV-2 is able to establish persistent infections. Various observations indicate that EHV-2 should not be neglected as a pathogen in equids. There are convincing results indicating that EHV-2 has a role as a predisposing factor for Rhodococcus equi invasion in the respiratory tract. Also as been suggested that EHV-2 may play a role in transactivation and reactivation of latent EHV-1 and EHV-4 infections.

Clinical signs

  • EHV-2 infection occurs most frequently in young foals, and the most common symptoms are keratoconjunctivitis, respiratory disease with pneumonia and pharyngitis, fever, enlarged lymph nodes, inappetence/anorexia, general malaise, and poor performance.
  • There is no evidence that EHV-2 has abortigenic potential.


  • The prowess of EHV-2 as a successfully adapted viral parasite of the horse is substantiated by seroepidemiological and virological studies which indicate almost universal acquisition of viral infection by young foals.
  • The limited data collected supports the scenario that EHV-2, in aerosolised infective material excreted from the respiratory tract of another virus-shedding horse, enters the new host through the upper respiratory tract where it infects and replicates first in the respiratory mucosal epithelium.
  • Prenatal infection with EHV-2 has not been recorded, and the virus has not been detected in colostrum or milk.
  • Experimental infection of a mid-gestational equine foetus in utero resulted in normal term delivery, although the foal showed mild rhinitis and conjunctivitis, with nasal shed- ding of EHV-2.


  • On the basis of evidence suggesting that EHV-2 infection can play an etiological role in predisposing foals to subsequent R. equi pneumonia, both passive immunisation with hyperimmune equine serum against EHV-2 and active immunisation with an vaccine containing EHV-2 glycoprotein antigens have been used, with reported success, for the prophylactic treatment of annual reoccurrences of this highly fatal foal disease.
  • Ocular disease in foals associated with infection by EHV-2 on breeding farms has been successfully treated with ophthalmic ointments containing either idoxuridine or trifluridine together with antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents.