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Keywords:

  • horse;
  • EHV-1;
  • lymph nodes;
  • virus

Summary

Twelve adult ponies and 2 conventional foals were exposed intranasal to EHV-1, strain Ab4 (TCID50 10−6.6) and samples of respiratory tract associated lymphoid tissues were recovered between 12 h and 13 days after infection. Infectious virus was detected in tissue homogenates using susceptible cell monolayers and expression of viral antigens was monitored using indirect immunoperoxidase histochemistry on paraffin sections. The results showed both infectious EHV-1 and viral antigens in respiratory tract associated lymph nodes 12 h after exposure. Infected leucocytes were identified morphologically as lymphocytes, monocytes, macrophages and plasma cells. The rapid intracellular localisation of EHV-1 in lymph nodes implies that cell mediated immunity is an important aspect of the equine response to this virus.