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J Gen Virol. 2010 Sep;91(Pt 9):2286-301. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.019737-0. Epub 2010 May 5.

Molecular epidemiology and genetic characterization of equine arteritis virus isolates associated with the 2006-2007 multi-state disease occurrence in the USA.

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Department of Veterinary Science, Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546, USA.


In 2006-2007, equine viral arteritis (EVA) was confirmed for the first time in Quarter Horses in multiple states in the USA. The entire genome of an equine arteritis virus (EAV) isolate from the index premises in New Mexico was 12 731 nt in length and possessed a previously unrecorded unique 15 nt insertion in the nsp2-coding region in ORF1a and a 12 nt insertion in ORF3. Sequence analysis of additional isolates made during this disease occurrence revealed that all isolates from New Mexico, Utah, Kansas, Oklahoma and Idaho had 98.6-100.0 % (nsp2) and 97.8-100 % (ORF3) nucleotide identity and contained the unique insertions in nsp2 and ORF3, indicating that the EVA outbreaks in these states probably originated from the same strain of EAV. Sequence and phylogenetic analysis of several EAV isolates made following an EVA outbreak on another Quarter Horse farm in New Mexico in 2005 provided evidence that this outbreak may well have been the source of virus for the 2006-2007 occurrence of the disease. A virus isolate from an aborted fetus in Utah was shown to have a distinct neutralization phenotype compared with other isolates associated with the 2006-2007 EVA occurrence. Full-length genomic sequence analysis of 18 sequential isolates of EAV made from eight carrier stallions established that the virus evolved genetically during persistent infection, and the rate of genetic change varied between individual animals and the period of virus shedding.

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