An equine parvovirus-hepatitis (EqPV-H) has been recently identified in association with equine serum hepatitis, also known as Theiler’s disease. This disease was first described by Arnold Theiler in 1918 and is often observed after applications with blood products in equines. So far, the virus has only been described in the USA and China. In this study, we evaluated the presence of EqPV-H in several commercial serum samples to assess the potential risk of virus transmission by equine serum-based products for medical and research applications. In 11 out of 18 commercial serum samples, EqPV-H DNA was detectable with a viral load up to 105
copies/mL. The same serum batches as well as three additional samples were also positive for antibodies against the EqPV-H VP1 protein. The countries of origin with detectable viral genomes included the USA, Canada, New Zealand, Italy, and Germany, suggesting a worldwide distribution of EqPV-H. Phylogenetic analysis of the EqPV-H NS1 sequence in commercial serum samples revealed high similarities in viral sequences from different geographical areas. As horse sera are commonly used for the production of anti-sera, which are included in human and veterinary medical products, these results implicate the requirement for diagnostic tests to prevent EqPV-H transmission.
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