Detection of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) in urine samples during outbreaks of equine herpesvirus myeloencephalopathy

Ana Velloso Alvarez, E. Jose-Cunilleras, Abel Dorrego-Rodriguez, Isabel Santiago-Llorente, Maria de la Cuesta-Torrado, Lucas Troya-Portillo, Belen Rivera, Valentina Vitale, Lucia de Juan, Fatima Cruz-Lopez*

*Autor corresponent d’aquest treball

Producció científica: Contribució a una revistaArticleRecercaAvaluat per experts

2 Cites (Scopus)


Background: Real-time PCR is the diagnostic technique of choice for the diagnosis and control of equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) in an outbreak setting. The presence of EHV-1 in nasal swabs (NS), whole blood, brain and spinal cord samples has been extensively described; however, there are no reports on the excretion of EHV-1 in urine, its DNA detection patterns, and the role of urine in viral spread during an outbreak. Objectives: To determine the presence of EHV-1 DNA in urine during natural infection and to compare the DNA detection patterns of EHV-1 in urine, buffy coat (BC) and NS. Study design: Descriptive study of natural infection. Methods: Urine and whole blood/NS samples were collected at different time points during the hospitalisation of 21 horses involved in two EHV-1 myeloencephalopathy outbreaks in 2021 and 2023 in Spain. Quantitative real-time PCR was performed to compare the viral DNA load between BC-urine samples in 2021 and NS-urine samples in 2023. Sex, age, breed, presence of neurological signs, EHV-1 vaccination status and treatment data were recorded for all horses. Results: A total of 18 hospitalised horses during the 2021 and 2023 outbreaks were positive for EHV-1, and viral DNA was detected in urine samples from a total of 11 horses in both outbreaks. Compared with BC samples, DNA presence was detected in urine samples for longer duration and with slightly higher concentration; however, compared with NS, detection of EHV-1 in urine was similar in duration with lower DNA concentrations. Main limitations: Limited sample size, different sampling times and protocols (BC vs. NS) in two natural infection outbreak settings. Conclusions: EHV-1 was detected in the urine from naturally infected horses. Urine should be considered as complimentary to blood and NS in diagnosis of EHV-1 infection.

Idioma originalEnglish
RevistaEquine Veterinary Journal
Estat de la publicacióPublicada - 2023


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