Hepatitis Virus Found In Equine Serum Samples Worldwide

Equine parvovirus-hepatitis (EqPV-H), which causes liver disease in horses, is believed to be in commercial horse serum worldwide, scientists have found. However, the researchers could not determine if the DNA particles found in the samples were infectious.

EqPV-H has only recently been identified with equine serum hepatitis; the disease has been reported after the use of equine serum products like botulinum antitoxin, tetanus antitoxin, antiserum against Streptococcus equi, pregnant mare’s serum and equine plasma.

Though the virus had only been reported in China and the United States, Drs. Toni Luise Meister, Birthe Tegtmeyer, Alexander Postel, Jessika-M.V. Cavalleri, Daniel Todt, Alexander Stang and Eike Steinmann studied 18 commercial serum samples to discover where else the virus may be present.

EqPV-H DNA was detected in 11 of the 18 samples; additional testing showed that antibodies against EqPV-H VP1 were found in all samples with the DNA as and in three additional samples. The samples with EqPV-H VP1 DNA were taken from Canada, New Zealand, Italy, Germany and the United States, which suggests that EqPV-H VP1 can be found worldwide.

The scientists caution that since horse sera is used to make various anti-sera products for animals and humans (like botulism antitoxin and snake antivenom) that the manufacturers should be aware of EqPV-H VP1 contamination and have sensitive tests in place to test for the virus.

Read the full study here.

Read more at HorseTalk.

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