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In 2017, two Thoroughbred stallions, A and B in Farms A and B, respectively, in Hokkaido in Japan showed clinical signs of equine coital exanthema (ECE). In 2020, stallion C in Farm B showed clinical signs of ECE. Eighteen mares were mated within five days before stallion A developed ECE. Ten mares that mated within 3 days before onset showed clinical signs of ECE on the external genitalia. Equine herpesvirus 3 (EHV-3) was isolated from vaginal swabs from three mares that mated within 2 days before onset. Swabs from 12 mares that mated within 4 days before onset were real-time PCR (rPCR)-positive and nine of those mares had an increased EHV-3 antibody titer. The three stallions were administered valaciclovir orally and topical acyclovir ointment was applied. Treatment started on the next day after onset in stallion A and on the day of onset in stallions B and C. EHV-3 was firstly isolated from penis swabs of stallions A and B before treatment and from penis swabs of stallion C 2 days after treatment. EHV-3 was not isolated after 8, 5 and 8 days from onset in stallions A, B and C, respectively. However, swabs were rPCR-positive for at least 12, 9 and 15 days after onset of stallions A, B and C, respectively. EHV-3 was excreted from the stallions at least within 4 days before the onset of ECE, and acyclovir treatment resulted in the termination of excretion within 8 days after onset.


Yuko Toishi, Nobuo Tsunoda, Rikio Kirisawa. Period of excretion of equine herpesvirus 3 (EHV-3) from a stallion before showing clinical signs of equine coital exanthema and the effect of acyclovir treatment on the duration of EHV-3 excretion. The Journal of veterinary medical science. 2020 Sep 24;82(9):1299-1305

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PMID: 32684614

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