Equine herpes virus type 1 (EHV-1) and 4 (EHV-4) infections in horses and donkeys in northeastern Turkey

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Department of Virology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kafkas University, Kars, Turkey

2 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Kafkas University, Kars, Turkey


The herpesviruses infections in equides are caused by five different serotypes of viruses, belonging to family Herpesviridae. The goal of this study was to conduct a seroepidemiological investigation of equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) and type 4 (EHV-4) in horses and donkeys raised in two provinces and their villages in northeastern Turkey. A total of 666 samples from 423 horses and 243 donkeys that were not immunized against these infections were tested with ELISA. While 52.48% of tested horse sera was found
to carry specific antibodies to EHV-1, 83.69% of these serums were found to carry specific antibodies to EHV-4. 51. Eighty-five percent of analyzed donkey samples tested positive for EHV-1 and 64.20% of these samples tested positive for EHV-4 antibodies. When the horse and donkey samples were evaluated together, 52.25% were seropositive for EHV-1 and 76.58% were seropositive for EHV-4. This study showed that EHV-1 and EHV-4 infections are quite common in the horses and donkeys being raised in the
areas where the study was carried out. In addition, since the area where the study was carried out in the borders of Armenia and Georgia, the high level of seropositive results for these infections leads to the conclusion that we should consider the risk of diseases spreading to neighboring countries. This is the first study to serologically identify EHV-1 and EHV-4 infections in donkeys raised in Turkey.


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