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Pol J Vet Sci. 2013;16(3):493-500.

First report on equine herpesvirus type 4 isolation in Poland--evaluation of diagnostic tools.

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Department of Virology, National Veterinary Research Institute, Al. Partyzantów 57, 24-100 Pulawy, Poland.


Upper respiratory tract infections are still a serious problem in breeding and racing horses. The most common virological factors are EHV1 and EHV4, which are both a major cause of secondary infections. High EHV4 seroprevalence in Polish horses indicates a high transmission rate of this pathogen among horses and increases the need for proper diagnostics. The aim of this study was to develop a reliable laboratory diagnostic scheme for upper respiratory tract infections and to describe the first isolation of EHV4 in Poland. Twenty one nasal swabs collected from young horses under the age of 2 years showing clinical signs of equine rhinopneumonitis were tested with duplex PCR for simultaneous detection and differentiation between EHV1/EHV4. Positive samples were then subjected to virus isolation in Vero cells. Additionally, real-time PCR was developed which allowed viral copy numbers to be quantified and enabled defining that a DNA load below 10(3) copies per 1 ml of the sample reflected latent infection or decline of the disease. However, the sensitivity of traditional PCR proved to be sufficient in the diagnostic of the lytic infections and allowed identification of 10 EHV4 infected horses from which 3 strains were successfully isolated in cell culture. Another four EHV4 positive results were obtained by real-time PCR; but, a high Ct (threshold cycle) and a low virus DNA copy number suggested a latent infection. This report describes the first successful isolation of EHV4 from Polish horses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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