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Vet Microbiol. 1999 Aug 16;68(1-2):15-25.

Epidemiological studies of equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) in Thoroughbred foals: a review of studies conducted in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales between 1995 and 1997.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Anatomy and Pathology, University of Sydney, NSW, Australia.


Sero-epidemiological studies conducted between 1995 and 1997 on two large Thoroughbred stud farms in the Hunter Valley of NSW showed clear evidence of EHV-1 infection in foals as young as 30 days of age. Similarly, serological evidence suggested that these foals were infected with EHV-1 from their dams or from other lactating mares in the group, with subsequent foal to foal spread of infection prior to weaning. These studies also provided evidence of EHV-1 infection of foals at and subsequent to weaning, with foal to foal spread of EHV-1 amongst the weanlings. These data indicated that the mare and foal population was a reservoir of EHV-1, from which new cases of infection propagated through the foal population both before and after weaning. The results of these studies support the long standing management practices of separating pregnant mares from other groups of horses to reduce the incidence of EHV-1 abortion. Also, these results have important implications for currently recommended vaccination regimens, as the efficacy of vaccination in already latently infected horses is unknown.

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