Genetic heterogeneity and variation in viral load during equid herpesvirus-2 infection of foals

Stephanie A. Brault, Brian H. Bird, Udeni B R Balasuriya, Nigel J Maclachlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Equine herpesvirus-2 (EHV-2) infection has been implicated as a cause of a variety of clinical disorders in young horses, including upper respiratory tract disease, generalized malaise, fever, pharyngeal lymphoid hyperplasia, and lymphadenopathy. Considerable sequence heterogeneity has been demonstrated previously among EHV-2 strains, and individual horses can be concurrently infected with more than one virus strain. In this study, the temporal variation of the viral load and genomic diversity of the glycoprotein B (gB) gene of EHV-2 in the nasal secretions of a cohort of foals was characterized during the first 5 months of life. The viral load in nasal secretions of foals peaked when the foals were approximately 3 months old, and there was notable genetic heterogeneity of the gB gene, both among foals and within individuals. Furthermore, there was evidence of positive selection of EHV-2 variants with unique amino acid sequences at specific sites of gB.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-261
Number of pages9
JournalVeterinary Microbiology
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jan 27 2011


  • Equid herpesvirus-2
  • Nasal secretions
  • PCR
  • Positive selection
  • Sequencing
  • Viral load

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)


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