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The temporary disruption of reproductive activities due to equine coital exanthema (ECE), caused by equid herpesvirus 3 (EHV-3), at thoroughbred breeding facilities and embryo transfer centres, has an appreciable economic impact. The aim of the present study was to estimate the prevalence of excretion of EHV-3 in mares without clinical symptoms under field conditions and the re-excretion patterns of the virus in two seropositive (presumably latently infected) mares maintained in isolation for 11 mo. The EHV-3 virus was detected in perineal-vaginal swabs by real time PCR in 14 (6%) of 220 thoroughbred mares without clinical symptoms at the time of breeding. In the two isolated mares, re-excretion of EHV-3 was demonstrated on two occasions, 3 mo apart (each for a 3 d interval) in one mare, and on only 1 d in the other mare. Antibodies against EHV-3 were identified by seroneutralization in 105 (48%) of the thoroughbred mares, and during the entire period in the two isolated mares. Therefore, the present study provided evidence of EHV-3 shedders in a healthy mare population under both field and isolation conditions. Furthermore, at least two periods of spontaneous EHV-3 reactivation and re-excretion in the presence of serum antibodies occurred in one mare in an 11 mo interval. These findings could assist in the design and implementation of measures to minimize the spread of EHV-3 and control ECE outbreaks. Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


M Barrandeguy, A Vissani, F Pont Lezica, J Salamone, A Heguy, L Becerra, C Olguin Perglione, E Thiry. Subclinical infection and periodic shedding of equid herpesvirus 3. Theriogenology. 2010 Sep 1;74(4):576-80

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PMID: 20494427

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