Five of 10 pregnant, lactating mares, each with a foal at foot, developed neurological disease. Three of them became recumbent, developed complications and were euthanased; of the two that survived, one aborted an equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1)-positive fetus 68 days after the first signs were observed in the index case and the other gave birth to a healthy foal on day 283 but remained ataxic and incontinent. The diagnosis of EHV-1 myeloencephalitis was supported by postmortem findings, PCR identification of the virus and by serological tests with an EHV-1 -specific ELISA. At the time of the index case, the 10 foals all had a heavy mucopurulent nasal discharge, and PCR and the ELISA were used to detect and monitor EHV-1 infection in them. The status of EHV-1 infection in the five in-contact mares was similarly monitored. Sera from three of the affected mares, taken seven days after the index case were negative or had borderline EHv-1 -specific antibody titres. In later serum samples there was an increase in the titres of EHv-1 -specific antibody in two of the affected mares. In contrast, sera from the five unaffected in-contact mares were all EHv-1 -antibody positive when they were first tested seven or 13 days after the index case.
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