First Report on the Frequency and Molecular Detection of Neuropathogenic EHV-1 in Turkey

Yilmaz H., Altan E., Turan N., Gurel A., Haktanir D., Sonmez K., ...More

JOURNAL OF EQUINE VETERINARY SCIENCE, vol.32, no.9, pp.525-530, 2012 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier


There has been an increase in outbreaks of neuropathogenic equine herpesvirus-1 (EHV-1) in the United States and Europe. However, the presence and frequency of neuropathogenic EHV-1 in Turkish horses are not known at present. This study aimed to investigate the frequency of EHV-1 and neuropathogenic strains of EHV-1 in the Marmara Region of Turkey. Samples were analyzed for the presence of EHV-1 and neuropathogenic EHV-1 by real-time PCR TaqMan probe assays. Overall detection rate of EHV-1 was 45.5% (51 of 112). The detection rates were 70.5% (24 of 34) in aborted fetuses, 53.3% (8 of 15) in neonatal deads, 66.6% (4 of 6) in foals, 40% (2 of 5) in dead mares, and 25% (13 of 52) in living mares. Overall detection rate of neuropathogenic EHV-1 was 7.8% (4 of 51), and the real-time PCR results were confirmed by sequencing. Neuropathogenic strains of EHV-1 were detected in the brain and lung of two mares with neurological disease but without a history of abortion, in the brain of a foal that died of respiratory disorder, and in the nasal swab from a mare with a history of abortion. On histopathology, nonpurulent meningoencephalitis, hemorrhages, and vasculitis were seen in the brain. In conclusion, results of this study indicated, for the first time, that the neuropathogenic EHV-1 is circulating in the Marmara Region of Turkey. The results of this study also show that the current risk for non-neuropathogenic strains is high, whereas risk for the neuropathogenic ENV-I-G(2254) strain seems to be low. As outbreaks of EHV-1 continue in the Marmara region of Turkey, surveillance for neuropathogenic EHV-1 genotype should be maintained. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.