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Virology. 2012 Feb 20;423(2):165-74. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2011.11.028. Epub 2011 Dec 29.

Emergence of novel equine arteritis virus (EAV) variants during persistent infection in the stallion: origin of the 2007 French EAV outbreak was linked to an EAV strain present in the semen of a persistently infected carrier stallion.

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Laboratoire Frank Duncombe, IFR ICORE 146, 14053 Caen Cedex 4, France.


During the summer of 2007, an outbreak of equine viral arteritis (EVA) occurred in Normandy (France). After investigation, a link was suggested between an EAV carrier stallion (A) and the index premise of the outbreak. The full-length nucleotide sequence analysis of a study reference strain (F27) isolated from the lung of a foal revealed a 12,710 nucleotides EAV genome with unique molecular hallmarks in the 5'UTR leader sequence and the ORF1a sequence encoding the non-structural protein 2. The evolution of the viral population in the persistently infected Stallion A was then studied by cloning ORFs 3 and 5 of the EAV genome from four sequential semen samples which were collected between 2000 and 2007. Molecular analysis of the clones confirmed the likely implication of Stallion A in the origin of this outbreak through the yearly emergence of new variants genetically similar to the F27 strain.

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