3 years ago

Detection of Equine Herpesvirus (EHV) -1, -2, -4 and -5 in Ethiopian Equids with and without Respiratory Problems and Genetic Characterization of EHV-2 and EHV-5 Strains

H. Sentsui, K. Oguma, H. Negussie, H. J. Nauwynck, D. Gizaw, T. S. Tessema, Y. Li, L. Tesfaw
Infections with equine herpesviruses (EHVs) are widespread in equine populations worldwide. Whereas both EHV-1 and EHV-4 produce well-documented respiratory syndromes in equids, the contribution of EHV-2 and EHV-5 to disease of the respiratory tract is still enigmatic. This study describes the detection and genetic characterization of EHVs from equids with and without clinical respiratory disease. Virus-specific PCRs were used to detect EHV-1, -2, -4 and -5. From the total of 160 equids with respiratory disease, EHV-5 was detected at the highest prevalence (23.1%), followed by EHV-2 (20.0%), EHV-4 (8.1%) and EHV-1 (7.5%). Concurrent infections with EHV-2 and EHV-5 were recorded from nine (5.2%) diseased horses. Of the total of 111 clinically healthy equids, EHV-1 and EHV-4 were never detected whereas EHV-2 and EHV-5 were found in 8 (7.2%) and 18 (16.2%) horses, respectively. A significantly higher proportion of EHV-2-infected equids was observed in the respiratory disease group (32/160, 20.0%; P = 0.005) compared to those without disease (8/111; 7.2%). EHV-2-positive equids were three times more likely to display clinical signs of respiratory disease than EHV-2-negative equids (OR 3.22, 95% CI: 1.42–7.28). For EHV-5, the observed difference was not statistically significant (P = 0.166). The phylogenetic analysis of the gB gene revealed that the Ethiopian EHV-2 and EHV-5 strains had a remarkable genetic diversity, with a nucleotide sequence identity among each other that ranged from 94.0 to 99.4% and 95.1 to 100%, respectively. Moreover, the nucleotide sequence identity of EHV-2 and EHV-5 with isolates from other countries acquired from GenBank ranged from 92.9 to 99.1% and 95.1 to 99.5%, respectively. Our results suggest that besides EHV-1 and EHV-4, EHV-2 is likely to be an important contributor either to induce or predispose equids to respiratory disease. However, more work is needed to better understand the contribution of EHV-2 in the establishment of respiratory disease.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/tbed.12601

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