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Vet Rec. 2010 Sep 4;167(10):376-8. doi: 10.1136/vr.c3748.

Prevalence of equine herpesvirus type 1 in trigeminal ganglia and submandibular lymph nodes of equids examined postmortem.

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Department of Medicine and Epidemiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


The objective of this study was to detect and characterise the biovar of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) from submandibular lymph nodes (SMLNs) and trigeminal ganglia from 153 equids undergoing routine postmortem examination for various medical and surgical reasons. A combination of nucleic acid precipitation and preamplification steps was used to increase the analytical sensitivity of the analysis. The presence of latent EHV-1 was determined when tissue samples were PCR-positive for the glycoprotein B (gB) gene and the DNA polymerase (ORF 30) gene of EHV-1 in the absence of detectable late structural protein gene (gB gene) mRNA. The SMLNs of five of the study animals (3.3 per cent) were PCR-positive for the gB gene of EHV-1. Two SMLNs carried a latent neurotropic strain of the virus, whereas three SMLNs were PCR-positive for both neurotropic and non-neurotropic EHV-1. A total of 30 trigeminal ganglia collected from 19 horses were PCR-positive for the gB gene of EHV-1. Nine trigeminal ganglia harboured either latent non-neurotropic or neurotropic EHV-1 strains. Twelve trigeminal ganglia contained both latent neurotropic and non-neurotropic EHV-1. The prevalence and distribution of EHV-1 biovars among the study horses appeared to be influenced by their breed and the type of tissue tested.

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