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Molecular Detection and Genetic Characteristics of Equine Herpesvirus in Korea

Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, 177 Hyeoksin 8-ro, Gimcheon, Gyeongbuk 39660, Korea
College of Veterinary Medicine, Kyungpook National University, 80 Daehakro, Buk-gu, Daegu 41566, Korea
Equine Epidemic Control & Quarantine Section, Korea Racing Authority, Gwacheon, Gyeonggi 13822, Korea
Horse Riding Military Unit, Korea Military Academy, Nowon-gu, Seoul 01805, Korea
Cardiovascular Research Institute, Kyungpook National University, Jung-gu, Daegu 41944, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Pathogens 2020, 9(2), 110;
Received: 18 January 2020 / Revised: 4 February 2020 / Accepted: 6 February 2020 / Published: 11 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Pathogens)
Respiratory diseases cause significant economic losses (especially in the horse racing industry). The present study describes the detection and genetic characteristics of equine herpesvirus (EHV) from a total of 1497 samples from clinically healthy horses in Korea, including 926 blood samples, 187 lung tissues, and 384 nasal swabs. EHV-2 and EHV-5 were detected in 386 (41.7%; 95% CI: 38.5–44.9) and 201 (21.7%; 95% CI: 19.1–24.4) blood samples, respectively, and in 25 (13.4%; 95% CI: 8.5–18.2) and 35 (18.7%; 95% CI: 13.1–24.3) lung tissues, respectively. EHV-1 and EHV-4 were not detected in either blood or lung tissues. EHV-1, EHV-2, and EHV-5 were detected in 46 (12.0%; 95% CI: 8.7–15.2), 21 (5.5%; 95% CI: 3.2–7.7), and 43 (11.2%; 95% CI: 8.0–14.4) nasal swabs, respectively. EHV-4 was not detected in nasal swabs. Co-infection with EHV-2 and EHV-5 was detected in 11.6% (107/926) of the blood samples and 6.4% (12/187) of lung tissues. In nasal swabs, co-infection with EHV-1, EHV-2, and EHV-5 was detected in 0.8% (3/384) of samples. Phylogenetic analysis of the glycoprotein B gene showed that EHV-1, EHV-2, and EHV-5 strains demonstrated significant genetic diversity in Korea, with a nucleotide sequence identity among them that ranged from 95.7% to 100% for EHV-1, 96.2%–100% for EHV-2, and 93.8%–99.3% for EHV-5. These results are the first phylogenetic analyses of EHV-1 in Korea in nasal swabs from a nationwide population of clinically healthy horses. Both EHV-2 and EHV-5 from blood, lung tissues, and nasal swabs were also detected.
Keywords: herpesvirus; horse; EHV-1; EHV-2; EHV-5; phylogeny herpesvirus; horse; EHV-1; EHV-2; EHV-5; phylogeny
MDPI and ACS Style

Seo, M.-G.; Ouh, I.-O.; Lee, S.K.; Lee, J.-S.; Kwon, O.-D.; Kwak, D. Molecular Detection and Genetic Characteristics of Equine Herpesvirus in Korea. Pathogens 2020, 9, 110.

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