Equine gammaherpesviruses: perfect parasites?

Vet Microbiol. 2013 Nov 29;167(1-2):86-92. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2013.05.031. Epub 2013 Jun 19.


The evolutionary success of the equine gammaherpesviruses (GHVs) is demonstrated by their consistent and widespread presence in horse populations worldwide. Equine GHVs establish infection in young foals and can be continually detected over the lifetime of the host either by recrudescence of latent infections or by re-infection. A definitive diagnosis of clinical disease in horses due to GHV infection remains challenging given the ubiquitous nature of the GHVs in horses without clinical signs, as well as in horses with clinical signs ranging from mild respiratory disease to severe equine multinodular pulmonary fibrosis. This review aims to examine what is known about equine GHV and explore the balance of the relationship that has evolved over millions of years between these viruses and their host.

Keywords: EHV-2; EHV-5; Equine gammaherpesvirus.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Gammaherpesvirinae / classification
  • Gammaherpesvirinae / genetics
  • Gammaherpesvirinae / immunology
  • Gammaherpesvirinae / physiology*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / diagnosis
  • Herpesviridae Infections / epidemiology
  • Herpesviridae Infections / veterinary*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / virology
  • Horse Diseases / diagnosis
  • Horse Diseases / epidemiology
  • Horse Diseases / virology*
  • Horses
  • Phylogeny