International Journal of Diseases and Disorders ISSN 2329-9835 Vol. 3 (1), pp. 001-007, January, 2015. © International Scholars Journals

Full Length Research Paper

Prevalence of equine herpes viruses 1, 2 and 4 in Arabian horse population in Egypt

Haitham M. Amer1,3*, Asmaa K. Shaltout2, Ibrahim M. El-Sabagh1,4, Ahmed A. El-Sanousi1 and Mohamed A. Shalaby1

1Department of Virology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Cairo University, 12211 Giza, Egypt.

2Al-Zahraa Stud for Arabian Horses, Cairo 13311, Egypt.

3Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, 11451 Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

4Central Biotechnology Laboratory, College of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Resources, King Faisal University, Al-Hufof, 31982, Saudi Arabia.

Accepted 19 October, 2014

Abstract

The Egyptian Arabian horse is one of the oldest and most popular horse breeds in the world. No previous efforts have been made for investigating the existence and prevalence of equine herpes viruses (EHVs) in this precious horse breed. In this report, ninety three clinical samples were collected from a cohort of Arabian horses located in Cairo, Egypt. Screening of the clinical samples for the presence of EHV antigens by cell-ELISA utilizing a polyclonal antibody pool against EHV-1, 2, and 4 identified 34 (36.56%) positive samples. Virus-specific semi-nested PCR assays were used for typing the positive samples. Three samples were found positive for EHV-1, seventeen for EHV-2, seven for EHV-4, one was a mixed infection of EHV-1 and EHV-4, and six did not produce any amplification signal with all assays. Sequence analysis of the amplified semi-nested PCR products of representative EHV strains further confirmed the virus identity. This study is the first that outlines the involvement of EHV infections in Arabian horse diseases worldwide. Besides, it presents new data about the prevalence of EHVs in the Egyptian horse population.

Key words: Arabian horses, Egypt, equine herpes viruses, prevalence.