The objective of the investigations was to study the occurrence of the equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) infection in aborted equine fetuses and in newborn foals and to compare the sensitivity of virus isolation, immunohistochemistry and histology in 101 cases and of fetal serology in 68 cases in the diagnosis of the infection. Out of the 93 aborted equine fetuses and 8 weak foals, 15 (14.9%) (14 fetuses and 1 foal) proved to be EHV-1 infected by immunohistochemical and 13 (12.9%) by virological investigation. Characteristic microscopic changes were seen in several organs in all cases, while intranuclear inclusion bodies could be found only in 25 (35.2%) of the 71 virus-positive tissue samples. Four (5.9%) cases proved to be positive by fetal serological investigation, but none of these cases showed any EHV-1 specific lesions and in none of these cases could the virus be detected by virus isolation or by immunohistochemistry. According to the results, fetal serology does not seem to be a useful test in virus-positive cases, while the immunohistochemical method seems to be a reliable and a slightly more sensitive method than virus isolation in the diagnosis of EHV-1 infection.
- Equine herpesvirus type 1 infection
- Fetal serology
- Virus isolation
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