Decreased virus-neutralizing antibodies against equine herpesvirus type 1 in nasal secretions of horses after 12-hour transportation

Hiroshi Bannai, Yuji Takahashi, Hajime Ohmura, Yusaku Ebisuda, Kazutaka Mukai, Yoshinori Kambayashi, Manabu Nemoto, Koji Tsujimura, Minoru Ohta, Sharanne Raidal, Barbara Padalino

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3 Citations (Scopus)


This study evaluated the effects of 12-hour transportation on immune responses to equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) and type 4 (EHV-4). Possible replication of EHV-1 and EHV-4 was monitored by real-time PCR of nasal swabs and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), and changes in systemic and mucosal antibodies were investigated. Six healthy Thoroughbreds with transport experience were transported in commercial trucks, repeating the same three-hour route four times. Blood samples for cortisol measurement were taken before departure and every three hours. Nasal swabs, PBMCs, nasal wash and serum samples were collected before departure, at unloading, two and six days after arrival. Cortisol concentration increased significantly after three and six hours of transport (P < 0.05), confirming acute transport stress. However, no evidence of viral replication or lytic infection was observed, and serum virus neutralization (VN) titers for EHV-1 and EHV-4 were unchanged, except for one horse that showed a four-fold decrease in titer against EHV-1 after transportation. Urea and total IgA concentration in nasal washes increased significantly after transportation (P < 0.05), while total IgA/protein ratio was unchanged. A transient, ≥4-fold decrease in VN titers for EHV-1 in nasal wash concentrates was observed in four out of six horses after transportation (geometric mean titer declined from 202 to 57, P < 0.05), suggesting suppression of VN capacity in the nasal mucosa may contribute to susceptibility to EHV-1 after transportation. VN antibodies against EHV-4 in nasal secretion were not detected at any timepoint.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103665
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Equine Veterinary Science
Early online date24 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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