74 (2) 140-145

Title: 
The prevalence of antibodies against equine influenza virus, equine herpesviurs 1 and 4, equine arteritis and rhinovirus 1 and 2 in dutch standardbred horses
Author(s): 
C. VAN MAANEN, J. HELDENS, A.A. CULLINANE, R. VAN DEN HOVEN, M. WESTSTRATE
Abstract: 

A random cross-sectional seroprevalence study was conducted in 1996 by taking blood samples from 330 different standardbred horses on all racetracks in the Netherlands. This blood sampling took place on four consecutive days, with each horse being sampled only once. Samples were investigated for antibodies against several strains of equine influenza virus, equine herpesvirus types 1 and 4, equine arteritis virus, and equine rhinovirus types 1 and 2. A type specific gG ELISA was used to determine specific seroprevalences of equine herpesviruses 1 and 4. Influenza serology, using influenza A/equi/1 Prague/56 as an indicator virus for vaccination, demonstrated that 38 % of the horses were either unvaccinated or inadequately vaccinated. Many of these horses appeared to have experienced an influenza A/equi-2 field infection. Neutralizing and complement fixing antibodies against both EHV1 and EHV4 were found in a high percentage of the samples. However, for EHV1 this high seroprevalence was putatively caused by cross-reacting EHV4 antibodies since, in a type-specific gG ELISA, the EHV1 seroprevalence was only 28%, as compared with a 99% seroprevalence for EHV4. High seroprevalences were also found for equine rhinovirus type 1 and for the equine arteritis virus, thus indicating the endemic nature of these viruses. Many of these infections may be subclinical. The seroprevalence of equine rhinovirus type 2 was surprisingly low. The possible relationship between viral infections and upper respiratory tract disease and/or inflammatory airway disease is discussed.

Full text: 
pp 140-145
Original article(s)