Article Text

Aujeszky's disease in horses fulfils Koch's postulates
  1. TG Kimman,
  2. GJ Binkhorst,
  3. TS van den Ingh,
  4. JM Pol,
  5. AL Gielkens and
  6. ME Roelvink
  1. Central Veterinary Institute, Department of Virology, Lelystad, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Aujeszky's disease virus was isolated from the brain of a horse which had shown severe neurological signs, including excessive sweating, muscle tremors and periods of mania. Pathological examination revealed a non-suppurative meningoencephalitis. The virus was propagated in cell culture and inoculated into the conjunctiva and nostrils of two ponies. The ponies developed fever seven days after inoculation and subsequently started to behave abnormally, showing severe neurological signs on the ninth day after inoculation. One pony became excited and the other was depressed. One pony died on the ninth day after inoculation and the other was euthanased on the 10th day. Both ponies had a significant increase in serum antibody titre against the virus. The virus was recovered from several parts of the brains and the eyes of the ponies. Aujeszky's disease in horses therefore fulfils Koch's postulates. Although horses do not appear to be very susceptible to the virus, Aujeszky's disease should be included in the differential diagnosis of horses with fatal or transient neurological signs of disease in areas where the virus is endemic.

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