Isolation of equine herpesvirus-5 from blood mononuclear cells of a gelding

Stephanie A. Bell, Udeni B R Balasuriya, Robert W. Nordhausen, Nigel J Maclachlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Horses are commonly infected by herpesviruses, but isolation of equine herpesvirus-5 (EHV-5) has only infrequently been reported. We describe the isolation and characterization of a strain of EHV-5 from the blood mononuclear cells of a healthy adult horse in California. The virus was initially identified by EHV-5 specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and it caused lytic infection of cultured rabbit kidney cells only after repeated serial passage. Virions with characteristic herpesvirus morphology were readily demonstrated in cell culture lysate by transmission electron microscopy. A portion of the glycoprotein B gene of this strain of EHV-5 had 99% identity to the published EHV-5 sequence, and it was clearly distinguishable from other EHV (1-4) by virus-specific PCR assays. Prevalence of EHV-5 infection in a group of young racehorses was estimated at 64% using the EHV-5 specific PCR on nasopharyngeal secretions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)472-475
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Electron microscopy
  • Equine herpesvirus-5
  • PCR
  • Virus isolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • veterinary(all)


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