Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Experimental reactivation of equine herpesvirus-3 following corticosteroid treatment.

Abstract

State of latency, well known for several herpesviruses, has been proposed for equine herpesvirus-3 (EHV-3) and supported by epidemiological observations. No detailed assessment about reactivation, patterns of excretion and reexcretion has been formally reported. An experimental reactivation study by corticosteroid treatment in previously naturally infected horses was therefore carried out. Two polo mares with clinical and virologically confirmed history of equine coital exanthema were injected with dexamethasone and prednisolone on 3 successive days. Clinical signs, body temperature and clinical samples for virological and serological studies were obtained daily. Mares did not show any systemic clinical signs or hyperthermia. EHV-3 shedding, seroconversion and the presence of a small lesion were observed in one of the mares under study 2 weeks after corticosteroid treatment. The results demonstrate that this virus exhibits a latency-reactivation behaviour similar to that of other alpha herpesviruses. Reactivation of latency may have an important bearing on the appearance of clinical signs in mares and/or stallions during the breeding season without the actual evidence of transfer from mare to stallion or vice versa.