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Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 1993 Aug;9(2):283-94.

The equine herpesviruses.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Science, University of Kentucky, Lexington.


Two viruses, EHV-1 and EHV-4, are now known to be responsible for disease conditions formerly considered caused by "equine rhinopneumonitis virus." Although these viruses share several laboratory and clinical features, they differ in epidemiology and pathogenic potential. EHV-4 is primarily associated with clinical respiratory disease, whereas EHV-1 is more frequently isolated from aborted fetuses, sickly foals, and neurologic cases. Both viruses frequently establish latent infections, but the relevance of latency to clinical disease is unclear. Diagnosis based on identification of the pathogen is generally superior to serologic methods. Vaccines containing each virus are available, and vaccination in concert with careful management limits the number of clinical cases. Immunity following vaccination or disease is not absolute, however, and improved disease prophylaxis awaits a better understanding of protective immune responses.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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