Equine rhinopneumonitis

Description

Upper respiratory tract infections can be caused by both equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) and equine herpesvirus type 4 (EHV-4) with the latter more common. Clinical signs vary from sub-clinical to severe disease characterized by fever, lethargy, anorexia, nasal discharge, and cough.

While EHV-1 infections may also result in late term abortion, stillbirth, the birth of weak foals that die shortly after parturition, or neurological disease. EHV-4 typically only causes acute respiratory disease in foals greater than two months, weanlings and yearlings.

Diagnosis and tests available

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on clinical signs, virology and histopathology.

Tests available

Test

Sample(s) required

Days of the week test is conducted

Turnaround time1

Histopathology

Fixed tissue

Monday - Friday

Up to 5 days

Equine herpesvirus type 1 Real Time PCR

Swab in PBGS (preferred) or EDTA blood (purple top tube)

According to demand

2-3 working days

Equine herpesvirus type 4  Real Time PCR

Swab in PBGS (preferred) or EDTA blood (purple top tube)

According to demand

2-3 working days

Equine herpesvirus type 1 VNT

Clotted blood (red top tube)

Batch tested on Thursday

1-2 weeks

1 Turnaround times are provided as a guide only. For specific information about your submission please contact Customer Service.

Specimen requirements

Blood (without anti-coagulant)

  • 10 ml of blood collected into a plain red top tube. Acute and convalescent samples collected 2-3 weeks apart are required for confirmation of recent infection. (Acute samples should ideally be collected within the first 3-4 days of observable disease)
    • Submit chilled

Fixed tissue

  • Liver and lung
    • Submit fixed in neutral buffered formalin at a 10:1 ratio of formalin: tissue

Swab

  • Nasal/nasopharyngeal swabs are the preferred sample type for the diagnosis of equine rhinopneumonitis
    • Send in viral transport media (PGBS)

Note

EHV1 and EHV4 may be detected by PCR in leukocytes early in the course of an infection.