There is strong evidence that equine parvovirus-hepatitis (EqPV-H) is associated with the onset of Theiler's disease, an acute hepatic necrosis, in horses. However, the impact of this virus on other hepatopathies remains unknown. The objective of this retrospective study was to evaluate the prevalence and quantify the viral loads of EqPV-H in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded equine and donkey livers with various histopathologic abnormalities. The pathologies included cirrhosis, circulatory disorders of the liver, toxic and metabolic hepatic diseases as well as neoplastic and inflammatory diseases (n = 84). Eight normal liver samples were included for comparison as controls. EqPV-H DNA was qualitatively and quantitatively measured by real-time PCR and digital PCR, respectively. The virus was detected in two livers originating from horses diagnosed with abdominal neoplasia and liver metastasis (loads of 5 × 103 and 9.5 × 103 genome equivalents per million cells). The amount of viral nucleic acids measured indicates chronic infection or persistence of EqPV-H, which might have been facilitated by the neoplastic disease. In summary, this study did not provide evidence for EqPV-H being involved in hepatopathies other than Theiler's disease.
Keywords: EqPV-H; hepatitis; hepatopathy; horse; neoplasia; ungulate copiparvovirus 6.