Equine herpesvirus-1 and 4: investigating the disease humoral immunity profile among some Native, Arabian and Foreign horses
Over a period of 6 years, antemortem and postmortem examinations were performed on a number of donkeys suffering from respiratory disease. For many cases, initial diagnostic efforts failed to identify an etiology consistent with the pathologic findings. However, retrospective examination of these cases using consensus primer polymerase chain reaction, designed to recognize herpesviruses from all 3 subfamilies of the Herpesviridae, amplified a fragment of the highly conserved herpesvirus DNA polymerase gene from a number of these animals. Two novel herpesviruses, herein designated asinine herpesvirus 4 (AHV4) and asinine herpesvirus 5 (AHV5), were consistently detected in lung tissue from donkeys in which the histopathology was characterized by interstitial pneumonia and marked syncytial cell formation but not in lung tissue from donkeys with evidence of bacterial or verminous pneumonia. Nucleotide sequence and phylogenetic analysis places these new viruses within the Gammaherpesvirinae subfamily and indicates that they are most closely related to the recently identified zebra herpesvirus and wildass herpesvirus as well as equine herpesviruses 2 and 5.