Age-dependent prevalence of equid herpesvirus 5 infection
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Equid herpesvirus 5 (EHV-5) infection was detected in a farm in Italy by the use of a semi-nested polymerase chain reaction (PCR) targeting glycoprotein B of EHV-5 on nasal swabs and blood samples of clinically healthy and randomly selected Lipizzaner horses (n = 55). Twenty-five horses at the age of 4–17 years and 30 at an age of 1–3 years were sampled once. The association of the infection with these age-groups and the gender of the horses was investigated. The apparent prevalence of EHV-5 infection was significantly different between age-cohorts: it was higher in the younger group of horses with 73,3% and 80% positives in nasal swabs and blood respectively, compared to 40% of nasal swabs and 20% of blood in the older horses. An age-dependence therefore was observed: the young age is more frequently associated with EHV-5 infection.
KeywordsEquid herpesvirus 5 Gammaherpesvirus Horses Polymerase chain reaction Age-dependency Epidemiology
The work was partially financed by grants from the Italian Ministry of Agricultural Alimentary and Forestry Policies, Project LIPISAN “Salvaguardia, conoscenza e valorizzazione dell’Allevamento statale del cavallo Lipizzano (A.S.CA.L.).” The authors acknowledge Mr. Gianluca Alunni for his skilful technical assistance.
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