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Vet J. 2005 Jul;170(1):14-23.

Equine herpesviruses 1 (EHV-1) and 4 (EHV-4)--epidemiology, disease and immunoprophylaxis: a brief review.

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Intervet UK Ltd., The Elms, Thicket Road, Houghton, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, PE28 2BQ, UK.


This review concentrates on the epidemiology, latency and pathogenesis of, and the approaches taken to control infection of horses by equine herpesvirus types 1 (EHV-1) and 4 (EHV-4). Although both viruses may cause febrile rhinopneumonitis, EHV-1 is the main cause of abortions, paresis and neonatal foal deaths. The lesion central to these three conditions is necrotising vasculitis and thrombosis resulting from lytic infection of endothelial cells lining blood capillaries. The initiation of infection in these lesions is likely to be by reactivated EHV-1 from latently infected leukocytes. However, host factors responsible for reactivation remain poorly understood. While vaccine development against these important viruses of equines involving classical and modern approaches has been ongoing for over five decades, progress, compared to other alpha herpesviruses of veterinary importance affecting cattle and pigs, has been slow. However recent data with a live temperature sensitive EHV-1 vaccine show promise.

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