Research Shows EHV-1 Source Of Abortion Storm In Chinese Mares

Researchers say that an abortion storm on the Chinese State Studs of Zhaosu, in North Xinjiang, in January 2021 was most likely caused by equine herpesvirus (EHV-1). 

In total, 43 mares aborted out of the 800 that were pregnant. The mares were all about six months into gestation and none of the mares that aborted had exhibited any other clinical signs. 

Dr. Panpan Tong and his research team took samples of lung tissue from every aborted fetus and used molecular-based methods to test for EHV-1, EHV-2, EHV-4, and EHV-5. 

All 43 samples were positive for EHV-1. Some of the mares had other strains of EHV infection concurrent with EHV-1: one had EHV-4 and three had EHV-2. Seven mares also had EHV-5.

The scientists conclude that EHV-1 was the cause of the abortion storm. Additional testing found that the EHV-1 infection was the neuropathogenic strain. 

The researchers are hopeful that their findings will help encourage development of EHV vaccines.

Read the full study here

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